Microsoft Ready to Jump into the Retail Game

| News

Microsoft is preparing to open its own retail stores to promote its own products and services, much like Apple has done with its successful Apple Store locations. The Redmond-based company hired former Wal-Mart and Dreamworks Animation executive, David Porter, to spearhead the project.

Mr. Porter will be responsible for deciding when and where Microsoft will open its stores.

Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said the company is "working hard to transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience at retail by improving the articulation and demonstration of the Microsoft innovation and value proposition so that it’s clear, simple and straightforward for consumers everywhere."

It's not clear what kind of impact Microsoft stores would have on the company's retail partners that are already selling products like Windows Vista and the Xbox gaming console. Considering how Microsoft's moves to change copy protection formats and launch its own portable media player have worked out for its partners, odds are they aren't overly happy with the news.

Microsoft has not said yet when it will open its first store.

 

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Comments

Fonejacker

Another Microsoft copy, sorry I meant to say innovation. But innovation and Microsoft are two totally different words, that never seem to sound right together. Didn’t they have a MS shop in California, thats now a Sony PlayStation shop? Don’t PC dealers/retailers count as PC shops? Like I care anyway. Its bound to fail, more money down the MS drain, which can only be a good thing. Any bets it will close within 12 months?

xmattingly

Translation? Their old business model of licensing software to PC vendors and letting them do their own marketing is tanking, so M$ is going to flail wildly at other opportunities to give their own brand more presence. Maybe rather than jump at every chance to try out these new business ideas, they should focus on brand equity by making products that people don’t complain about so much. Like… game systems that don’t overheat… music players that don’t flake out at the end of the year… an OS that doesn’t come in half a dozen assorted flavors.

You also have to wonder with limited retail space, how they’re going to decide which vendors’ PC boxes will be available in stores. I laugh at the thought of ridiculously long lines at their “genius bar”, too. : ) 

Again, I think M$ would be a lot better off focusing on making things that aren’t half-baked, rather than sticking their beak in everything under the sun. But hey, what do I know? I’m not a billionaire with money to throw around.

xmattingly

Whoop, my mistake: they won’t have a “Genius Bar”... M$ will call their support “The Highbrow Lounge”.

Widgets/Gadgets… Aqua/Aero…

fonejacker

ye, forgot the “genius bar”, what’s theirs going to be called; “suckers who bought our crappy product bar”, “we haven’t got a clue how to fix it bar”, “join the queue bar”, “its not a design fault, its meant to do that bar”. OK I could go on, but won’t. It think it will turn out to be a technical support shop more than anything else.

Brutno

As long as they keep speaking like this:

“...by improving the articulation and demonstration of the Microsoft innovation and value proposition so that it?s clear, simple and straightforward for consumers everywhere.”

they will fail miserably.

xmattingly, you summed it up perfectly in one word - “translation”. If this is the phrase that reaches the public I feel sad for those at M$ who actually have to implement this project. How will they ever understand their directives?

Tiger

Between laughs, some thoughts come to mind.

With what products, software only?
Showing off Sharepoint?
What ecosystem will it be based on, Zune?
Will the focus be Vista or 7?

I have to think this is an idea that jumped the shark.

Andyda

Microsoft’s new business model…

See what Apple does
Balmer needs to say it will never work
Then copy it.

—- and—-

Say what an original idea Microsoft had.

fo

Brutno, my thoughts exactly… that sentence reveals much about Microsoft. Lots of words, little substance, no communication. They just don’t get it in a big way.

Sometimes it really does make me wonder how in the world they grew to be so large.

Dean Lewis

Microsoft Stores: Because it worked out so well for Gateway.

daemon

I personally don’t see a reason for Microsoft to open retail outlets. If it’s going to be software only, then it’s going to turn into a Babbage’s, but if they do sell computers as well, who do they carry? Dell? HP? Lenovo? What about Falcon? Are they going to come up with their very own “Microsoft PC.”

Who knows, the Microsoft store could turn out to be an exact clone of Apple’s stores, and end up a hundred times more popular (originality doesn’t matter when the product is good).

salparadise

You can’t hide cheapness.

ctopher

Apple Genius -> Windows Wizard
Genius Bar -> Wizard Worktable

This will work, alliteration sells baby!

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