Tech Roundup: Microsoft 0% financing, Retail Bad, IBM Power Line IP, More

Last Updated Nov 14, 2008 2:04 AM EST

Microsoft offer zero percent financing -- Showing that having a whole lot of cash can be useful when the banks who lend to your customers don't, Microsoftis offering zero percent 36-month financing on its Dynamics ERP and CRM offerings on purchases between $20,000 and $1 million. That's for licensing -- partner services and customization are available at standard financing rates, presumably because there's actual incremental cost. [Source: InfoWorld]

Retail doomier and gloomier -- Having polled 1,000 consumers, a retail research group says that holiday shopping is going to be really, really bad and that computer sales will see "the greatest impact in their history." Meanwhile, Best Buy is gloomy and Circuit City is in bankruptcy. [Source: Red Herring]

IBM talks IP over power lines -- IBM is partnering with International Broadband Electric Communications to try making Internet communications over power lines a reality in rural communities whose only option may be satellite connections. The technology has been here for years, but some improvements -- and federal loans -- have the pair looking to sign up cooperatives that provide electrical power in low population density areas in the eastern U.S. [Source: AP]

Classmates sue Classmates.com -- Classmates.com has been using emails to people claiming that their former classmates are trying to reach them as a way to get people to subscribe. At least one person says that the emails are knowingly deceptive and is suing. [Source: Ars Technica]

Silicon Valley gossip site gone -- Gawker Mediahas closed Valleywag, which has been a source of muck raking, often on a personal level. And yet, it's keeping one person who will keep blogging at Gawker.com. [Source: The Industry Standard, Valleywag]

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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.