Amazon announced that it will be acquiring popular Internet clothing and footwear store Zappos.com for approximately $807 million. The closing price of Zappo’s stock will actually drive the deal up to around $880 million when it closes this fall.
Zappos will retain the same management team that’s helped the brand get as popular as it has. The company’s CEO, Tony Hsieh issued a statement today saying, “Over the next few days, you will probably read headlines that say ‘Amazon acquires Zappos’ or ‘Zappos sells to Amazon’. While those headlines are technically correct, they don’t really properly convey the spirit of the transaction. We plan to continue to run Zappos the way we have always run Zappos — continuing to do what we believe is best for our brand, our culture, and our business. From a practical point of view, it will be as if we are switching out our current shareholders and board of directors for a new one, even though the technical legal structure may be different.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in a YouTube video presentation, talked about putting customers before competitors, and Zappos has built its reputation as one of the most efficient Web retailers by taking the same approach.
Zappos’ reputation for incredible customer service (it accepts returns for 365 days) began a few years ago, at about the time that a New York Times blogger referred to the retailer as “Customer Service Heaven.” [24×7]
Windows 7 Released to Manufacturing, Goodbye Vista!
Microsoft’s newest version of its operating system, Windows 7, is finally in the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) stage, so the OS will soon be preloaded on new computers. Though not officially released yet, Windows 7 is expected to be a hit. For instance, after just eight hours on Amazon UK, Windows 7 pre-orders outpaced the total number of pre-orders for Vista over a period of 17 weeks.
According to Microsoft, Windows 7, which offers seven different versions of the OS, has undergone significant testing, quality assurance and validation required to get to the RTM stage. Independent software and hardware vendors will be able to download Windows 7 RTM as early as August 6th. Microsoft will be rolling out Windows 7 to other partners in mid to late August. Enterprise customers and developers will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting on August 7, with additional language functionality for Windows 7 released shortly after. [24×7]
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