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IT Channel News Briefs, Dec. 29

Today's headlines: Microsoft site seeks to end Vista mysteries; Online sales not so bad.

New Microsoft site attempts to solve Vista mysteries

Microsoft last week posted a new website dedicated to answering (or having "the community" answer) common Vista questions. Windows Vista answers is a Q&A forum and is in its beta stage.

Windows Vista was released early last year and its successor, Windows 7, is expected in late 2008. VARs and others in the channel say uptake hasn't been as big as Microsoft says. Complicating matters is the fact that system builders can continue to load and sell Windows XP-based PCs into the middle of 2008.

Online sales perk up -- a bit -- during Christmas

Online sales did a tad better than brick-and-mortar retailers during the holiday season with online sales down a mere 1% for Nov. 1 through Dec. 21, according to researcher ComScore. That's compared to 5.5% or 8% drop for retail overall, according to The Wall Street Journal citing numbers from ComScore and other sources.

For the weekend before Christmas -- Dec. 20-21, online shoppers spent nearly $677 million, which is 17% less than they spent during the fourth weekend after Thanksgiving last year (Dec. 16-17). However, if ComScore factors in last year's Dec. 22-23 weekend, online spending for the weekend before Christmas this year was twice as high.

ComScore said the snowy weekend this year forced shoppers online where they made the best of their connections.

Check out last week's IT channel news briefs.

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