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aleqm5iqfa3vs_wxzfmagaorgkqvvho6zwAmazon shares hit an all-time record –– Today’s $118.49 price is higher than the $400-plus days of 1999, because of splits in the years since. Today’s share price would be about $700 without the splits, says the Wall Street Journal. The Journal hauled out Mary Meeker, a big booster of Amazon and other dot-com stocks in the late 1990s who still follows the sector:

Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker attributed Amazon’s recent surge to “continued success in adding new customers.”

She added that the rally “indicates that Amazon.com’s value proposition (lowest prices + best selection + great customer service) is succeeding in attracting consumers as they transition from offline to online in search of value.”

Another factor driving Amazon is sales of third-party products sold in its marketplace, a business once dominated by eBay Inc. Third-party units rose 32% from a year ago and 14% from the second quarter.

About 31% of Amazon’s sales now come from third-party merchants who sell goods on the site and give Amazon a percentage of revenue.

Wall Street, which refused to reward Yahoo for beating the street’s estimates a few days ago, went ga-ga for AMZN today, sending prices up 27% and boosting Amazon’s market value to $51.2 billion. VentureBeat will not make fun of the Kindle today.

images1Microsoft’s results add to continuing hopes for a tech-sector recovery — Microsoft is the General Motors of the tech sector, so today’s report of an 18% drop in quarterly results from last year could likely have triggered a selloff. Instead, investors bid Microsoft shares up 5.4% to $28.03 today. The Journal attributes it to consumer demand that offsets weak business spending.

articleinlineFifteen percent of adult Americans don’t have cellphones — Claire Cain Miller at the New York Times tracked down and interviewed people across America who have chosen to live — for now — without a mobile phone.

“It’s a luxury not to be reached when I’m out and about,” said Gregory Han, a 34-year-old writer and editor living in Los Angeles. Life for him is a lot more planned than most, the consequence of not having a cellphone — or even a landline — at home.

[Photo: J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times]

180px-reed_hastings_web_20_conferenceNetflix to roll out streaming-only service outside the U.S. — CEO Reed Hastings wouldn’t tell ReadWriteWeb in which countries Netflix will test streaming-only subscriptions that don’t require the customer to sign up for Netflix’ DVD-by-mail service. But those countries will not be the USA. Hastings said he wants to prove the business model before trying to serve it to the entire United States of America.

387363167_b3e762d801Windows 7 reader questions answered by our man Pogue — The guy is kind of touchy about his hatemail from Mac fans, but he takes one for the team today by answering the most broad, what-do-I-do questions about Windows 7 from his inbox. Send this to your parents.

As for PC pundits who trash-talk Windows Vista, former PC World editor Harry McCracken looked up all of the major reviewers’ write-ups of Vista from its debut days. All but one liked it. None forecast the sprawling, deep disinterest with which the general public responded to Vista. I’ll repeat my quickie review from yesterday: Windows 7 is a complicated operating system that I use to run a browser, in which I do all my work. Google’s Chrome OS is starting to appeal to me: A simpler, more stable browser with a Unix filesystem beneath it. For free. I’m not saying Windows is going to be gone from most desktops anytime soon, but it may be gone from mine.

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