Retail briefs: Windows XP, IBM, eBay, Coles Myer

Retail briefs: Windows XP, IBM, eBay, Coles Myer

Retailers presell XP

Retailers and computer makers are letting customers do some early Windows shopping. More than 30 PC makers and a handful of online and offline retailers in the US have begun preselling packaged versions of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, as well as computers with the software preinstalled.

Packaged versions of the software won't be shipped to customers or available on retail shelves until the official October 25 launch, Microsoft said. Some customers that pre-order Windows XP on a new PC, however, could get their hands on a computer running the operating system by the end of the month.

IBM inks eBay deal

IBM and eBay have announced a US agreement for IBM to expand its sales of software, servers and PCs on the eBay auction site. IBM will link directly to eBay on the homepage, and the two companies will explore a joint marketing campaign for print and television.

Another element of the deal calls for IBM to expand its shop in eBay stores, a section of the site eBay launched in June as a more traditional online sales venue. Most of the sellers in eBay stores are small businesses with relatively long-term ties to eBay; IBM is an exception.

Many bidders flock to eBay for bargain-basement prices, but IBM's price listings aren't significantly different from what might be expected in a retail store or on its own Web site.

Coles Myer places new CEO at helm

Newly appointed Coles Myer managing director CEO John Fletcher stepped in the shoes of departing chief Dennis Eck last week.

Fletcher, previously chief executive for Brambles Industries, will steer Coles Myer through the rejuvenation of its ailing general merchandise and apparel businesses.

Coles Myer (CML) chairman Stan Wallis thanked Eck for his service, pointing out his work in e-commerce, where Eck had been a "major driving force".

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