Barbie gets 'curvy' and 'petite' added to body shape
Barbie is to come in new body shapes including "tall, curvy and petite", with a greater range of skin tones and eye colours, in a move designed to move the brand away from body stereotyping.
The move, which brand owner Mattel describes as "offering girls choices that are more reflective of the world they see today", is partly designed to answer critics who describe Barbie’s body image as unrealistic for many girls.
Last year, Mattel added 23 new dolls to its Fashionistas range, with varied skin and hair colour and even flat feet (in stark contrast to Barbie’s defining high-heel-style foot).
Barbie has also in the past been accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes. Mattel has responded to such criticism with measures such as giving Barbie a LinkedIn page to highlight her career-focused lifestyle, not a ‘kept woman’ by dashing beau Ken.
Microsoft revenue fall of 15% offset by strong cloud and mobile apps
The computing giant’s Microsoft’s cloud computing division saw revenue up 5% to $6.3bn (£4.4bn) in the three months to 31 December, but total sales were down 10% to $23.8bn and profits down 15% to $5bn, with PC sales a major contributor.
However, analysts were expecting worse revenue and profit figures, with a consensus that its shift away from PC manufacture and into software and cloud computing made its position more viable in the marketplace.
Microsoft’s Cloud division, which also houses Office 365, is on track to generate $9.4bn in annual revenue, beating a previous forecast of $8.2bn.
Its PC division, which includes its Windows business, saw revenue fall 5% to $12.7bn.
Amazon turns profit for third quarter running, but analysts disappointed
Amazon reported a profit of $482m in the last three months of 2015 - which covers its key Christmas trading period and Black Friday - with revenues of $35.75bn.
However, sales fell short of the expected estimate of $35.93bn.
The company said that its Prime membership grew 51% in 2015, generating $2.4bn in revenue and with growing margins.
The news sent shares down more than 10% in after-hours trading.
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