Microsoft Plans 75 More Retail Stores

| News

Microsoft is planning on opening 75 more retail locations over the next two to three years, a massive expansion compared to the eleven retail locations the company currently has. The company made the announcement at its World Partner Conference 2011, where it showed slides of the proposed locations.

Microsoft opened its first retail store in 2010, and since then the company has opened ten more in California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, and Georgia. The expansion the company plans is concentrated on the East (mainly the Northeast) and West Coast, in Florida, and in Texas.

During Wednesday’s WPC 2011 Day Three keynote, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner also noted that his company also wants to expand internationally, though he didn’t offer any details on this. He did say, however, that its retail stores have been a great opportunity to learn from its customers.

“The biggest single thing we’ve learned from the stores is it’s helping us to transition from thinking about our customers to thinking like our customers,” Mr. Turner said. “And giving us that direct customer feedback is what we’re learning and getting from our stores.”

He added that his company has, “a huge opportunity to get the Microsoft story out [through its retail stores], and we’re going to keep driving that.”

Below is a PowerPoint slide that shows the locations in the U.S. of the eleven stores the company has opened. the slides were taken from a multi-hour video on Microsoft’s WPC website, and were first spotted by Neowin.

11 MS Stores

PowerPoint Slide with Microsoft’s Current Retail Locations

Mr. Turner then showed the new locations, as seen below.

75 MS Stores

PowerPoint Slide with Future Microsoft Retail Locations

In April, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that he wants his company to eventually have more stores than Apple, an effort that will take some time at this pace, but Apple’s own fleet of stores took many years to build.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

25 Comments Leave Your Own

joe

heh, they have Lone Tree, CO up in Wyoming. MSFT Dorks.

MOSiX Man

I’d really love to see genuine stats on whether or not Microsoft has made any profit - above the cost of building and operating them - from the stores they’ve already opened. Of course, that can be a tricky thing to figure out how to measure, so I’d settle for knowing how much revenue the average store brings in, to compare it to the average for an Apple store.

From all the (admittedly anecdotal) information I’ve seen on the MS Stores, they are typically ghost towns when compared to the neighboring Apple store, which most, if not all, surprisingly seem to have.

Also, the wording on that map indicates that someone at MS has a poor grasp on grammar. ‘We will accelerate our stores!’ Really? What speed will you accelerate them to? Try to make sure not to run any of them into something valuable.

Lee Dronick

From all the (admittedly anecdotal) information I?ve seen on the MS Stores, they are typically ghost towns when compared to the neighboring Apple store

I visit the San Diego MicroSoft Store now and then, mostly to mess around with the Surface, it a few doors away from the Apple Store. It was a hurly burly on the grand opening, I have photos, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be as busy as the Apple Store. From what I see most of the visitors hang around the entertainment/home theatre stuff and are not at the PCs. The staff seem to be cheerful, helpful, and knowledgable so when it comes time for me to buy a new Windows system I will probably shop there.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I actually went into a Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo last week when shopping for a laptop to replace an ailing MBP.  There were three employees who listened to what I wanted and helped me evaluate choices they had in the store. Basically what I wanted was build quality of the unibody MBP, HD anti-glare screen, 15”, Core i7. They were very friendly and helpful and I appreciated all the choices they had available, and that they stripped the crapware off the machines they sold there.

I walked down the mall to the Apple Store, where I was greeted by a zombie blue-shirted hipster with trademark white headphones on, and then couldn’t get anyone to answer my questions about the new MBP while the hipsters focussed on talking to the blonde MILFs that ventured into the store. I ended up ordering a custom MBP from the Apple website. It was nice to see the anti-glare screen in person side by side with the glossy before buying. Kindof a shame that glossy is what sells though.

MOSiX Man

@Bosco: How odd… I’ve been into the Mission Viejo Apple store (as well as a couple others nearby) numerous times. The employees are always very helpful and knowledgable, and the only time I’ve not immediately been given the undivided attention of a specialist was when the store was overrun and all of the specialists were tied up helping other customers.

Of course you got to talk to the MS store employees right away, since I’m sure they weren’t too busy helping the three other customers in the store (not including the five kids hanging off the XBOX 360 display).

It sounds like you’re judging somebody as a ‘hipster zombie’ because you were upset that he was busy helping some other customers, which were probably there and/or got his attention before you did, and therefore couldn’t come over and help you right away. Your assertion that you couldn’t get anyone to answer your questions about the new MBP tells me that either 1) you weren’t very patient in waiting to talk to a specialist and/or for them to find the answers to some questions you might have, or 2) you’ve made this whole story up as part of your endless attempt to throw dirt on whichever aspect of Apple people around here are discussing at the time. Or, maybe both.

John Dingler, artist

MS has already articulated its vision all over the media, ubiquitously. If it now wants to articulate its vision, it must be a different one, so it must have either lied before or else it’s lying now.

I am waiting to hear what businesses will say about its vision now.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@MOSiX: I hear they’re hiring. You’ll fit right in. I used to know the store manager and the business specialist at that store pretty well. Not sure if they’re still there. If they are, I’d be happy to recommend you!

MOSiX Man

MS has already articulated its vision all over the media, ubiquitously. If it now wants to articulate its vision, it must be a different one, so it must have either lied before or else it?s lying now.

Now, now. Let’s not assume that MS has been lying. It’s equally plausible that they’ve simply been wrong, all along, and that they have finally decided to apply some course correction to their vision. Whether or not that ‘correction’ might be to their benefit or detriment, would be another question, entirely. wink

MOSiX Man

I hear they?re hiring. You?ll fit right in. I used to know the store manager and the business specialist at that store pretty well. Not sure if they?re still there. If they are, I?d be happy to recommend you!

Thanks. If I were younger and less experienced, hadn’t already done more than my fair share of retail work, didn’t have back problems, and didn’t already make substantially more than I could make as an Apple Specialist, I’d take you up on that offer.

However, you’re assumption that I’d ‘fit right in’ seems to be based on the fact that I received good customer service there. I think thats a too big of a leap in reasoning, even for you.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  You’ll have trouble finding uni-body construction on any laptop PC or on anything other than Apple’s products fro at least two reasons:  First, the technology whereby Apple accomplishes uni-body construction is patented, and (2) it is a slightly more expensive process so that no PC maker can afford to try to innovate around Apple’s patents, because they don’t make enough profit on the razor thin margins for PCs.  So if you want uni-body, you’ll have to stick with Mac.

The other thing that I find interesting is that you had an ailing MBP, but instead of going to the Apple Store to get it fixed, you went to a Microsoft store.  Of course, that only makes sense if you MBP is out of warranty, but even then, I found that the folks at my local Apple Store bent the rules a little for one of my older out of warranty Macs.

Bosco, I am beginning to detect something trollish about your comments and a slight whiff of mendacity.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  You’ll have trouble finding uni-body construction on any laptop PC or on anything other than Apple’s products for at least two reasons:  First, the technology whereby Apple accomplishes uni-body construction is patented Apple technology, and (2) it is a slightly more expensive process so that no PC maker can afford to try to innovate around Apple’s patents, because they don’t make enough profit on the razor thin margins for PCs.  So if you want uni-body, you’ll have to stick with Mac.

The other thing that I find interesting is that you had an ailing MBP, a new one, but instead of going to the Apple Store to get it fixed, you went to a Microsoft store.  Of course, that only makes slight sense if you MBP is out of warranty, and you know that you don’t want another one, but your MBP is, as you say, new.

Bosco, I am beginning to detect something trollish about your comments and smell a slight whiff of mendacity.  I am not quite sure just from what part of your comments that whiff is emanates, but something strikes me as not quite right.  For example, anyone who has been to an Apple Store, as you say you have been, knows that, because they are so busy, you have to set an appointment to be seen by the staff of the Genius Bar, and while other members of the staff will try to help you, they, unlike the Geniuses, are not trained repair techs.  But you just decided to stroll in without an appointment.  Where all those who had appointments simply to step aside for the great Bosco?  Did you ever take your new MBP in for its free repair or replacement?  Well, I guess not since you walked right pass the Apple Store to go to the Microsoft store.  To do what?  Get your MBP diagnosed and fixed at the Microsoft store? 

Now, after the friendly sales-folks at the Microsoft store offered to sell you a uni-body PC laptop from a Windows’ OEM, when there is no such product, you sauntered on back to the Apple Store to have your new MBP fixed instantly.  Usually, the staff of the Apple Store, if they can’t repair your Mac, will on the spot offer you the first available appointment at the Genius Bar.  Did that happen for you?  Or did you go off in a huff because you couldn’t be seem immediately?

And white ear buds in the ears of an on-duty Apple Store employee, who isn’t demoing a product, is something I’ve never seen in any Apple Store in four different cities.  Has anyone else seen that?  Gee Bosco, I wish you had taken a picture of that earbud-wearing hipster of an Apple Store-employee with your Android phone so that this foul stench of mendacity, this wafting aroma of incredulity, could be dissipated into the pleasant scent of truth.  But alas, I fear that is not to be.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nemo, the Apple Store was not terribly busy last Thursday. It was busier than the Microsoft Store. The Apple Store had two gentleman at the entrance, both wearing ear buds, presumably listening to music. Neither was available to do anything but direct traffic. After waiting for about 10 minutes at a MBP for any of the floor staff to come by and see if I needed any assistance, I asked one of the earbud clad WalMart greeter wanna-bes if they had the anti-glare screen in anything but the most expensive configuration or if I had to order it online. He said “online” then put his ear bud back in.

The old MBP is 4 years old. I never said it was new. There you go making crap up to support your thinking. I don’t buy AppleCare, and I don’t have all afternoon to see a genius or a week to wait for a repair. So when its fan got noisy a year ago, I fixed it myself, happily voiding the expired warranty to get a little more life out of it. It had recently taken to overheating, a result of the heat sink paste hardening and not doing its job any longer. I’m not complaining about that and haven’t. It was on 60%+ of the time for like 4 years. That happens. Hell, it finally died 20 minutes before the new one arrived—overheated and melted the power socket on the logic board. I laughed out loud and then removed the hard drive. Oh, and you should have seen the time estimate Migration Assistant gave me on that!!

I just wonder why you guys have to be such turds. Dropping $2200+ on a MBP, I feel like I could have gotten a little more attention in a store I used to frequent on more than a weekly basis. Hell, I pitched a few local high-end hotels on a joint solution with their business specialist. For real. I haven’t been there in awhile and was just kinda shocked at what a customer service cluster-frak it seemed to be. I get more attention buying dog food at Petsmart.

MOSiX Man

@Bosco: For the sake of further discussion, I’ll change my mind and assume that you are 100% honest and accurate in your previous depiction of what happened to you at the Apple store.

If the Apple store employees did behave the way you’ve described, then I agree that that store has gone downhill fast. If the same scenario had happened to me I’d be insisting to speak to a manager, immediately, to address their unwillingness to help me out when they obviously had nothing better to do. This is especially unacceptable to me because of how Apple emphasizes their intent to give the best possible customer experience. I’m especially shocked to hear that Apple’s front-line greeters were allowed to wear earbuds for listening to music. Anything that distracts them from giving customers their utmost attention should be totally disallowed. Let them listen to music on their breaks, or to whatever music might be playing in the store.

Regarding ‘us guys’ being ‘such turds’, are you forgetting how many arguments you’ve baited, and what a large number of people you have convinced that your primary reason for being here is to do anti-apple trolling? How about your many inferences that those who disagree with you and are pro-Apple are… not the sharpest spoons in the drawer and/or sycophant drones? After having done those things, how can you expect others here to take your account of an experience at an Apple store at face value?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Great MOSiX. You call for the manager. I have more important things to do than crack down on bearded hipsters. And now that you mention it, I have no idea if they were listening to music. I just know that the greeters had their ear buds in. Maybe they were getting direction from Steve Jobs himself about whom to give their attention.

I simply wanted to know if I could take home a MBP with an anti-glare screen that wasn’t the most expensive configuration on the floor. While the iPad next to each floor unit was helpful, it didn’t help me sort through two tables of MBPs, nor did they have an iPad sign that said “If you are such an unhip Luddite that you don’t love our glossy screens, order your f—-ing custom MBP from our web store and wait a week.”

The point of the original story was to contrast the helpful attitude I got from the Microsoft Store versus the complete inattention from the Apple Store down the mall, when I had basically made up my mind beforehand to buy an expensive Apple product. That you guys can’t just take it as a data point, but have to question why I didn’t demand to see the manager just shows your silliness. And Nemo, it’s a design patent. Apple has no utility patent on cutting a laptop case out of a single block of aluminum with a CNC machine. FFS, you should know better.

MOSiX Man

@Bosco: Wow. I agree with you, state that I would have an been upset in the same situation, and then just indicate what I would have done in that situation - not telling you what you should have done or questioning why you didn’t do the same. Yet, still a rebuke. Who’s being a turd, here?

FYI: I have no idea why this post is showing up as all bold. I’m not using bold tags in it.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  I apologize.  I misread your post, but I stand by the rest of what I wrote, supra.  The two gents at the entrance of the Apple Store were concierges.  It is there job to greet customers and direct them to the Apple Store personnel who can help them, whether that be a sales person or to the Genius Bar.  So, if you explained to a concierge what you wanted, that person should have directed you to correct store personnel to best address your needs. 

As for not being immediately accosted by store personnel, except for the concierge, Apple’s personnel are trained not to engage in high pressure sales tactics but to wait for the customer’s request.  If you just want roam around the store and demo products, Apple’s sales reps will generally leave you alone, which I find a welcome relief from the virtual assault that I usually suffer in most stores.  But again, the concierge should have sent you to right person

Of course, the neither the concierges or any other on-duty employee should have been rocking with his earbuds, so that a customer is required to wait for him to remove his earbuds before communicating his needs.  I’ve never seen that in any Apple Store that I visited, but Apple now has a huge retail network, where there are bound to be some store employees whose presentation is unprofessional.  You should complain to the store’s manager.

As for the rest of your rant, I suggest that, in the future, you give Apple the first shot at diagnosing and repairing its devices.  You may find that your experience will be a typical example of the great retail experience that the vast majority of Apple’s customers enjoy and that has helped make Apple’s retail stores the most profitable—even more profitable per square foot than Tiffany—and successful retail chain in America.  Though I think that Apple couldn’t make you happy even if it replaced your four year old MBP with a new one, gave you a million dollars, and a wild weekend with a butt-naked Jessica Biel.

As for price of the MBP, you are completely wrong there, not in the price; depending on how the MBP is configure, it can range from $1,200.00 to more than $2,500.  Where you are wrong is this.  While it is impossible to compare any “comparable” PC laptop with a MBP, because no PC has all of a MBP’s quality of construction, quality of parts, features, such as uni-body construction,Thunderbolt, and screen of superior quality, elegance and functionality of design, and Mac OS X, even where you configure a PC laptop as closely to a MBP as possible, the MBP is price competitive and is often cheaper than the close-as-possible comparable PC laptop, even though the PC laptop will lack uni-body construction, Thunderbolt, quality of components, the quality of screen, and OS X.

John Dingler, artist

Hi MOSiX Man,
Generally thinking, when I think of MS, I think of it as either being wrong or as lying. Most recently, it was wrong about the nature of tablets, but it also has a long history of lying about its plans to develop new applications, this, simply to discourage development of competing products by its competitors, which does not apply to this article, I know. Therefore, I may very well be more correct that it’s lying now than you may be correct speculating that it’s merely wrong.

Let me end with three cliches/bromides embarrassingly used by tech writers of other sites, more often by those that speculate or report rumors:

“But we’ll wait and see.” “Only time will tell.” “The future is not yet written.”

Lee Dronick

Let me end with three cliches/bromides embarrassingly used by tech writers of other sites, more often by those that speculate or report rumors:

?But we?ll wait and see.? ?Only time will tell.? ?The future is not yet written.?

Magic 8 Ball says

I was at the Fashion Valley Mall yesterday and stopped in at both the Apple and MicroSoft Stores.

Apple was very busy, but not packed. I was there using the free WiFi with my iPad, but also poking around the displays. I saw several people buying MacBooks, and it looked parents were buying them for college freshman.

MicroSoft was also busy, but a bit less than Apple. There were a number of youngsters playing games on the Surface and PCs. Also a few 20 something guys on the PCs, either trying them out or just surfing the web. A young lady was dancing along with that Xbox setup with a big screen and interactive floor thing. I didn’t stick around long enough to see how sales were doing.

John Dingler, artist

Hello Magic 8 Ball,
It would have been cool to learn what percentage of the visitors to such a copycat store were there simply to learn the number of the visitors had for being there as well as their purpose.

For all we know, a significant number were curious Apple users which would cause the misleading statistic that the two stores had nearly the same number, thus perhaps helping MS to tout the popularity of their stores.

Lee Dronick

Hello Magic 8 Ball,
It would have been cool to learn what percentage of the visitors to such a copycat store were there simply to learn the number of the visitors had for being there as well as their purpose.

For all we know, a significant number were curious Apple users which would cause the misleading statistic that the two stores had nearly the same number, thus perhaps helping MS to tout the popularity of their stores.

Magic 8 Ball says “Reply hazy, try again”

In the MicroSoft Store the 12-14 year old boys were almost certainly just killing time playing games. The 20 something guys, well who knows, but they were focused on the monitors so they were serious about something.

Lee Dronick

John Dingler, and others who are interested, see the photos from the Apple and MicroSoft Stores here http://gallery.me.com/computerarts/100162

John Dingler, artist

Hello Harry,
Yeah, I actually counted the heads in each store: MS 25. Apple 53.

Could not help observing the dark look of the MS store at the walls while the Apple store was bright and evenly lit.

MOSiX Man

The 20 something guys, well who knows, but they were focused on the monitors so they were serious about something.

Were they wearing tee-shirts with the word ‘Anonymous’ on them? wink

MOSiX Man

Could not help observing the dark look of the MS store at the walls while the Apple store was bright and evenly lit.

What’s interesting about this is that the opposite was true at some point. The signature look for Apple Stores used to be stylish and modern, but with a lot of dark colors, and I have seen pictures of MS stores obviously decked out in an obvious attempt to approximate to newer, brighter style and look that is currently standard in Apple Stores.

Lee Dronick

Were they wearing tee-shirts with the word ?Anonymous? on them?

No they were either old enough to shave and/or were well groomed smile

I am willing to bet that lot of Anonymous are by now a lot more well known than they want, they just don’t yet realize that. Sooner or later there will be a big roundup.

As to the amount of light in the stores. The MicroSoft Store is using darker furnishings such as the tables, and the floor has a darker finish. If the amount of lighting was equal then the Apple Store would appear brighter. I wonder if there as an app for that, I have a decibel meter app.

Finally, and I can’t resist saying this, the customers in the Apple Store are “brighter.” smile

Log-in to comment