Here’s a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you’ll just want to know.
o. Good news for Microsoft (MSFT): Windows 8.1 came out last month, and it looks like more folks are upgrading their operating systems. Bad news for Microsoft: More people switched to Windows 7 than adopted either 8 or 8.1. In terms of market share, Windows 7 grew by 0.22 percentage points, while Windows 8 and 8.1 picked up a mere 0.05 percent of users. Not good news for the touchscreen-focused OS upgrade.
o. Now here’s some honest good news — for J.C. Penney (JCP). Same-store sales were up by 10.1 in November over the year before, a sign that customers are returning to the retailer after the disastrous tenure of now-departed CEO Ron Johnson. Sales through its website are up, too.
o. In a settlement with EU regulators, some of the world’s biggest banks will pay fines totaling $ 2.3 billion for colluding to fix two benchmark interest rates — the LIBOR, and the EURIBOR. But not all the banks involved agreed to the deal, and the EU is still gunning for those that didn’t.
o. Excellent news for fans of … news. The new owners of Newsweek are bringing the printed magazine back to life. IBT Media purchased the Newsweek brand in August. And, considering that declining ad revenues have been the bane of magazine and newspaper publishers in recent years, we’re pleased to hear they plan to rely on subscriptions for most of Newsweek’s revenue.
o. And finally, the culinary genius who came up with the idea for the Doritos Locos Taco has died. Todd Mills is credited with conceiving of the nacho-cheese-flavored taco shells, and he pressed Frito Lay (PEP) and Yum Brands (YUM) with letters and a social media campaign until they realized he was onto something. His family says the 41-year-old died on Thanksgiving.