Tech Roundup: Google, Microsoft Face Off, Kindle Late, Best Buy MacBook Prices, More

Last Updated Nov 25, 2008 12:54 PM EST

Google cutting workforce, costs -- Google has confirmed that it's paring back a contractor force that numbers 10,000, but apparently the plans have been in place for six months and there is no word on how many contractors would get the axe. A likely more recent move is scaling back its holiday party, which has drawn crowds of over 10,000. [Source: CNET, Reuters]

Advertise on whatever moves -- Microsoft and Google are in a bidding war to get the default mobile advertising deal with Verizon. And on a different plane of motion, game publisher THQ is partnering with ad agency Massive (owned by Microsoft) for all its in-game advertising. The ads had better go somewhere; market research firm eMarketer estimates that next year U.S. advertisers will spend ten percent less than the firm thought they would even three months ago. [Source: Silicon Alley Insider, GameDaily, AP]

Kindle 2.0 delayed -- When companies move from retailer to technology vendor, they learn about missing product ship dates. Amazon's Kindle 2.0 won't ship in time for the holidays, instead targeting next quarter. [Source: TechCrunch]

iSuppli bets on even worse PC market -- Analyst firm iSuppli has cut its 2009 PC shipment estimates from 11.9 percent growth to 4.3 percent. The main reason for the adjustment is credit, with large and small businesses as well as consumers all having less to spend and finding that borrowing is more expensive. [Source:]

Best Buy cuts MacBook price, Apple to launch netbook? -- Best Buy cut prices for MacBooks by $100 to $150 in what is being called a "rare" move, because Best Buy has typically selling at list price. It could be that holding the line in pricing is looking, at least to retailers, like an increasingly risky activity when consumer spending is on the wane. And according to one analyst, Apple is planning on releasing a netbook in the first half of 2009 to develop a low-priced product -- presumably without compromising its branding and long-standing penchant to realize high end user pricing. [Source: Computerworld, InfoWorld]

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.