All quiet on the Windows front
A week before the release of Windows 7, an awful lot of fingernails are being chewed up. There's a lot riding on it for just about everyone in the chain from Microsoft to retail.
For Microsoft, it's a chance to restore its name. CEO Steve Ballmer has said that Microsoft's reputation was damaged by Vista and never recovered. Perhaps Windows 7 can erase some of that.
For OEMs, it's a chance to reverse the horrendous slide in business. They've kept the raw numbers up selling cheap netbooks, but decked out PCs are not moving in the numbers they used to. Businesses are not buying at all, as Dell is finding out painfully.
Now there's a real fear that OEMs have overbuilt PC inventory in anticipation of the Windows 7 launch. They certainly have made plenty. I get press releases almost daily announcing more system launches. A version of Windows that doesn't make you scream is as good an excuse as any for consumers to buy a new machine.