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Microsoft developing cell phone-type chip

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Microsoft Corp. confirmed Wednesday that it is developing a version of its main Windows operating system that will run on cell phone chips, providing an alternative for the first time to the chips based on Intel technology.

The new version could take advantage of the power savings provided by cell phone chips and give Microsoft a better chance of gaining a foothold in the emerging world of tablet computers. Apple Inc.'s hit iPad tablet runs on a cell phone-type chip, which is part of the reason it can last 10 hours on one charge.

Steve Sinofsky, president of the Windows division, demonstrated at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas prototype computers running Windows on chips designed by ARM Holdings, a British company whose technology goes into practically all cell phone chips.

Sinofsky didn't say when the new version of Windows would be available but intimated that it might be one or a few years away.


Retail sales advance

NEW YORK (AP) -- Americans spent more on clothes, shoes, luxury goods and electronics in December than a year earlier, extending retail sales momentum that had been building since August, according to data released Wednesday.

Figures released by MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse, which tracks spending in all forms, including cash, show consumers treated themselves to new clothes and shoes while they shopped for gifts during the most important period of the year for retailers.

More details on holiday spending will be revealed today when several major retailers report their sales at stores open at least a year.


Ford gains on Toyota

DETROIT (AP) -- A new automotive survey by Consumer Reports shows that Ford Motor Co. has gained ground on Toyota Motor Corp. among consumer perceptions.

Toyota scored 147 points in the 2011 Car Brand Perception Survey, giving it a slight advantage over Ford with 144 points. But the magazine said the Dearborn, Mich., company had made strides in safety, quality and value, three key parts of the survey.

Toyota has struggled with a series of high-profile recalls and held a substantial lead over Ford and Honda Motor Co. in a similar survey last year.

Toyota and Ford were followed by Honda Motor Co., General Motors' Chevrolet brand and BMW.


Astronics wins Iberia bid

Astronics has been picked by Spanish airline Iberia Airlines to supply the in-seat power system for the economy-class seats on its planes, the East Aurora aircraft lighting and electronics systems manufacturer said Wednesday.

Astronics did not estimate the value of the Iberia deal, but it expands its relationship with the airline, which already uses Astronics to supply the in-seat power systems for its business-class seating.

The latest contract will cover the entire economy-class cabin, or about 267 seats, on seven of Iberia's Airbus 340 aircraft. The first installation is expected later this year.


Delaware North wins pact

Delaware North Cos. has been awarded a contract to refurbish and operate restaurants at Scotland's Glasgow Airport.

The complete makeover of the food service outlets in front of security checkpoints is scheduled to begin this year, the airport said in a release.

Buffalo-based Delaware North also operates restaurants at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London and at Edinburgh Airport in Scotland. The company also handles the food and beverage services at the new Wembley and Emirates stadiums in London and at Pride Park in Derby County.

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