End of Bait-and-Switch Business Model?

In the middle of that show out in Pebble Beach with Clint Eastwood, then all the fuss over Anna Nicole Smith's sudden death, one story almost got lost: Eastman Kodak announcing cheap printer cartridges.

I know, I know — hardly sexy stuff. But perhaps last week, business-wise — and second to FOX announcing a business channel — this was the biggest story by far. Because it touches us all and because up to now it has burned us all.

I think it's the biggest sham going: This ridiculous bait-and-switch, razor-and-blade pricing model where the razor is cheap, but the replacement blades are not.

And it's not only the printer guys or razor guys doing it.

Cell phones have become little more than commodities. It's the calling and e-mail plans where these guys suck you in.

It's become standard business practice. That is, until now.

I know it got very little press. But in what could be a seismic development for the world, Eastman Kodak just announced the emperor has no clothes. Or the clothes he does have... well, they've just been marked down — way down.

Kodak is introducing a line of printers that feature ink cartridges up to two thirds off the price of rival cartridges — more than 60 percent off!

And get this, even with the price cut, Kodak expects to make big bucks — which tells you something about how overpriced these things were and are.

Now rivals must take note. The ink dye has been cast.

Mark. Print. Cut.

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