Keyboard BlackBerrys finally hit stores in U.S.
TORONTO — Modern BlackBerrys with physical keyboards are now available in the U.S., months after the touch-screen versions went on sale.
T-Mobile USA began selling the BlackBerry Q10 on Wednesday. It has the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, which addresses shortcomings that allowed the iPhone and Android devices to surpass the once-pioneering BlackBerry in sales and prestige.
The touch-only BlackBerry Z10 went on sale earlier this year, but many long-time BlackBerry users prefer a physical keyboard, which has been RIM’s strength.
Outlook to be on more tablets using Windows
SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft will add its popular Outlook email program to more tablets running on a lightweight version of its Windows operating system as part of a free software update later this year.
The Outlook 2013 app will be given to owners of Microsoft’s Surface tablet and similar devices running Windows RT. That’s a slimmed down version of Windows 8, a radical overhaul of the ubiquitous operating system used on most personal computers.
Microsoft is preparing to modify Windows 8 in response to complaints about the redesigned system.
Fed: Spring growth in U.S. improves modestly
WASHINGTON — A Federal Reserve survey says economic growth increased throughout the U.S. from April through late-May, fueled by home construction, consumer spending and steady hiring.
The Beige Book survey released Wednesday said 11 of the Fed’s banking districts reported “modest to moderate” economic growth. The 12th, in Dallas, reported strong growth.
The survey is based on anecdotal reports. The mostly favorable results of the latest survey suggest that the economy and the job market are improving despite tax increases and government spending cuts that took effect this year.
Recovery in Eurozone is proving to be elusive
LONDON — Several economic figures for the 17 EU countries that use the euro all showed the same thing Wednesday — there’s no sign of recovery from recession.
Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, confirmed that the eurozone’s economy shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter of the year from the previous three-month period, with most sectors declining. Both companies and consumers have shown little willingness to invest and spend as they struggle with high debt, tight credit markets and record unemployment of 12.2 percent across the eurozone. As a result, the bloc’s economy has shrunk for six straight quarters.
Treasury selling 30 million shares of stock in GM
DETROIT — The government plans to sell another 30 million shares of General Motors stock in a public offering today as it speeds up efforts to divest itself from a stake in the auto giant that it took over in a bailout four years ago.
The Treasury Department will set the price for the shares after the markets close today, with the sale happening shortly thereafter. A United Auto Workers retiree health care trust fund will join the sale and sell 20 million shares.
General Motors’ stock fell 94 cents to close at $34.02 Wednesday. Its shares are up 18 percent this year.
Spirit Airlines starting to serve wine from cans
NEW YORK — Spirit Airlines is thinking outside of the bottle. The low-cost carrier known for extra fees is now pouring wine out of aluminum cans.
Starting this week, passengers can purchase white moscato or strawberry moscato wine from Friends Fun Wine, a Florida company. Spirit, which serves Myrtle Beach, will continue to sell mini bottles of Sutter Home wine as well.