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In brief

Deb Shops sales plummet

Deb Shops Inc., a teen apparel retailer, reported Thursday that same-store sales in October fell 10 percent from the same month last year. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are frequently used to gauge industry performance.

For the month, total sales declined 7.1 percent to $24.1 million, from $25.9 million during October 2005.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, the retailer said same-store sales fell 4 percent.

Deb Shops operates 337 specialty apparel stores in 42 states under the DEB and Tops ’n Bottoms names.

Microsoft deal on Linux

Longtime software antagonists Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. have reached a technological truce that promises to smooth the way the still-dominant Windows operating system and the increasingly popular open-source Linux system work together.

Under the partnership, Microsoft’s sales team will offer its corporate customers a chance to license its Windows operating system as part of a package offering maintenance and support for Novell’s Suse Linux platform. Novell primarily relies on the fees for customer support to make money off the Linux software, which is developed by a global community of programmers who aren’t tied to any single company and freely share improvements to the code.

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