Second quarter financials announced from Amazon.com should send champagne corks popping on Beacon Hill. Revenues were up 41 percent and profits doubled, according to the NYT. CEO Jeff Bezos mentioned gas prices in a Wednesday conference call with analysts:
“Even just driving 10 miles to the store can mean a few dollars. We think consumers are taking that into account.”
So online retail is trumping bricks-and-mortar retail, and Amazon is pushing a host of new technology devices including the Kindle reader, a new video download service, and something called "TextBuyIt," which allows shopping by--get ready for it--your cell phone.
Over in Redmond, however, the news isn't so rosy. Sure, the company reported decent numbers for the second quarter. Now flying solo without Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer isn't pleased with his online division, however. (You know, the business that was supposed to acquire Yahoo!) So out goes Kevin Johnson, head of the online division...and who knows what happens next? There are rumors of expanding the successful Xbox platform into ever more areas of the home. (Including perhaps shopping?) But many still think the company has stalled owing to uncertainty about how Windows meshes (or doesn't) with the online biz--and hence the departure of Johnson.
Now if there were only some way for the company to profit from the high price of gas. Hmm, could unsold copies of Vista be ground up into biodiesel?