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Earlier than usual online holiday discounts are expected to dampen today's Cyber Monday sales in the United States. To compete with each other and powerhouse Amazon.com Inc, many U.S. retailers began offering some of the season's best online deals, which were traditionally reserved for the Monday after Thanksgiving, several days ago. That helped overall online sales from Thanksgiving through Sunday rise 14.5 percent in 2013 over the same period last year, data from IBM showed. But since shoppers have a limited budget, that could mean Cyber Monday might lose some luster. Shares of online retailer Amazon are up more than 1% in pre-market trading with the crucial holiday shopping season kicking off. Today marks Cyber Monday, the digital equivalent of Black Friday, where shoppers scour the Web for deals from businesses like Amazon. The company is using the retail event to push sales of its Kindle tablets, as it battles a crowded landscape headlined by Apple's iPad and a host of devices running on Google's Android operating system. Last Cyber Monday, Amazon set a one-day record for Kindle sales worldwide. Concerning Microsoft's plans on the operating-systems front following Windows 8.1, it turns out the Microsoft code name for that wave of deliverables is Threshold. Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson recently mentioned the Threshold code name in an internal e-mail about plans for his unified operating-system engineering group. If all goes according to early plans, Threshold will include updates to all three OS platforms, Xbox One, Windows, and Windows Phone, that will advance them in a way to share even more common elements. Samsung is doubling down on the mobile camera craze. The handset maker is working on a 20-megapixel camera it'll bundle into mobile devices in the second half of 2014. Still, several reports have surfaced over the last several months suggesting Samsung is at work on bigger and better camera technology. Rumors have been swirling that...