Microsoft Stores Next to Apple Stores: Where’s the Win?

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As a columnist, there are days where you just dream something like this will land in your lap. This is one of those days. I wrote up the news coverage Wednesday, but more than 24 hours later I am still a little dumbfounded at the news that Microsoft is planning on opening up its own retail locations right next to some Apple Store locations.

Here, let me start off with some of the titles I was working with for this very column:

  1. "BWAAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
  2. "Steve Ballmer Lets His Incompetence Dangle for All to See"
  3. "Taking Pot Shots at Big Redmond Just Isn't Fun Any More"

I mean, really, Microsoft wants to highlight the stark contrasts between the two companies for everyone and their brother to see right there, plain as day? This is one of the worst ideas Big Redmond has come up with since Clippy. Or maybe even Bob.

OK, I'm not being fair to Clippy - he had his fans.

Our readers came up with some hilarious digs in the news coverage, with my favorite probably being ziploc's, "Once you enter the store the only way to get out of the store will be to find the door marked Enter, once through that door you will have the choice of Exit, Re-Enter or Take a Rest."

Anyway, what the heck are the Suits in Redmond thinking? Where's the win here? The biggest problem, for instance, will be that any and every time there are more people in an Apple Store than in the nearby Microsoft Store, the company will have demonstrated Apple's preeminence and greater desirability.

I am very much of the opinion that walking past an Apple Store and seeing all those people inside makes Apple's retail stores all that much more appealing to passersby. It's sort of an infinite feedback loop of popularity that will be made even more of an issue if contrasted against a comparatively empty Microsoft store.

If, on the other hand, Microsoft should somehow manage to attract more people, it will merely be written off to there being more Windows users. So where's the win?

Of course, Microsoft isn't planning this in some sort of delusional attempt to win a self-declared popularity contest. The company clearly feels like it needs to be in control of its own message, and hopes to use Apple's own techniques to do so. If it can do these things, the company can stop, or at least slow down, the inroads Apple has made into its businesses over the last few years.

Why not go ahead and glom off the enormous research Apple has put into finding the best locations? Clearly it's worked for Apple, so why not Microsoft?

Well, there are so many reasons, it's hard to find a place to start -- and I'm just a technology journalist sitting around cracking jokes and making fun of corporate giants. Surely they have folks who should be smart enough to realize the folly of this course of action, but then again we are talking about the company that makes Windows (and made Bob).

So, let's try it ourselves and see if we can help them out. For one thing, Microsoft doesn't have a lot of stuff to sell. Microsoft is, at its core, a company built around two products: Windows and Office. Yes, there is Xbox and peripherals like mice and keyboards, but the vast majority of the company's business comes from Windows and Office, and having its own retail locations won't help peddle these products.

In comparison, Apple has iPods and Macs and iPhones it can sell, and that's a big part of why Apple's retail locations have been so materially profitable for the company.

The other major purpose the Apple Store serves for Apple is as a base of operations to educate consumers. Apple needed high-profile locations to show off its products in the hands of employees under its control, that it trained.

Those are simply problems Microsoft has never had.

  • There are hundreds of thousands of stores around the world that sell and showcase Windows, Office, Xbox, MS peripherals, and the company's other products.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of consultants and enterprise services companies that evangelize the company's corporate and network-oriented products and services
  • Everyone and their brother already knows Windows, and those who work in a business environment know Office, too. Likewise, finding people who know and understand Xbox requires knowing a kid (or a kid in adult clothing).

Exposure and product awareness simply aren't problems facing Big Redmond.

But from where I sit, even if this difference in needs isn't the issue, Microsoft also lacks some kind of key product to draw people into its stores. Apple had the iPod to draw users by their millions. It was this that sent the popularity of the Apple Stores into the stratosphere, and the iPhone has helped kept the momentum. The Mac has been the beneficiary of this popularity, not the cause.

What will Microsoft use as its lure? The Zune? Please. Windows? No one cares. Xbox? Already well-represented throughout the world. Office? Zzzzzzz...

Coming back to the central premise of this column, the issue is not whether or not Microsoft can use or leverage its own fleet of retail stores, but whether putting some of these stores next to, or in close proximity to, Apple Stores is a smart move.

I think that the company will find that being contrasted to Apple does nothing more than highlight the very perception problem (I say reality) that has allowed Apple to dominate the digital music device market and the online music store market, to take enormous share in the smartphone market, and to gain significant share in the computer market.

That makes it a boneheaded move.

Comments

dennis

Here’s a thought: In order to show off their two biggest products—Windows and Offfice—the MS stores will have to have computers. But they don’t make computers. So unless these stores are going to focus exclusively on XBox and Zune, the largest and most visible hardware in the stores will be non-MS. Whose hardware will it be? Will it be for sale?

What happens when a customer sees one of those PC-laptops-are-cheaper *Microsoft* commercials, and wants to buy one of these laptops? It’s a strange concept indeed.

YankInOz

When I was MUCH younger, younger than today (as the song goes), I had an opportunity to own a couple KFCs and after about three years of Blood, Sweat and Tears, I noticed that a Minnie Pearls Chicken Restaurant materialised on the other side of the street.

Bang-up business for a few weeks but it died after everyone realised that KFC had better - everything.

Comparative note: Apple should be sending M$ a thank you note. Now people will not have to go very far to see how truly krap-like M$ products are.

It would be hilarious if someone walked into the M$ stores and loaded a “Mac” theme onto the computers! Not that I would even think of such a thing!

By the time these “knock-off” store (has Redmond any original ideas?) are built Snow Leopard will be on the prowl.

There must be a sign permanently affixed to the top of Ballmer & Co. shoe that is painted in glowing neon - “Shoot Here”...

billi

Likely uSoft will be making more than Zune(s).  Imagine Zucchini (laptops).  Zulu servers (ZZZZ)... and of course most of the store real estate will be used to showcase the BAT!

Peter

There are hundreds of thousands of stores around the world that sell and showcase Windows, Office, Xbox, MS peripherals, and the company’s other products.

But are they doing a good job?

Consider “The Mojave Experiment.”  Microsoft took people and showed them what they claimed was a new version of Windows.  People liked it.  Then they revealed that it the currently shipping Vista.  People were surprised.  All they’d heard was how Vista sucked.

I’ve seen very few stores that “showcase” Windows.  Selling a PC with Windows isn’t “showcasing” Windows, anymore than Sears sticking a few Macs in the back of the store was “showcasing” Macs.  You want to let people know why they should upgrade their computer to Windows 7 or buy a new PC which runs Windows 7 if their computer is too old to handle it well.

Everyone and their brother already knows Windows, and those who work in a business environment know Office, too.

They know Windows because that’s what the IT department gave them to do their work.  The IT department will decide what apps they have and what they are allowed to do.  And those people know enough about Windows to do their job.  But not much more.

Microsoft, again, needs to show people the “cool” stuff in Windows—Y’know, the stuff they stole from Apple.

What will Microsoft use as its lure? The Zune? Please. Windows? No one cares. Xbox? Already well-represented throughout the world. Office? Zzzzzzz…

Remember way back when it was “Apple Computer, Inc.” and all they sold were Macs and software in their store?  What was the “lure” then?  Oh, yeah, the computers had Internet access!  Maybe Microsoft could do something like that…

In regards to the Zune, by the way, it might have been worthwhile to have a store where people could come in and see one and try it out and hear about it’s cool features—like wireless syncing or it’s ability to output to a 720p TV.  Maybe if there’d been a store where people could go and check that stuff out, they might be a little more interested in Zune.  If only such a place existed…

Finally, the whole “Next to Apple Stores” isn’t going to happen, if the Apple Store is in a mall.  Malls have rules about how far away competitors can be.  That’s why you don’t see Nordstroms next to Macys.  So, if they are in the same mall, they’d probably be at completely opposite ends.

Lee Dronick

“Everyone and their brother already knows Windows, and those who work in a business environment know Office, too.”

How well do they know Windows and Office? Sure there are pros with the OS and the suite, but for example how many times have you received a word.doc that has spaces to line up columns instead of tabs?

BillyG

Bryan,

My sentiments exactly.  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

You would think Microsoft would have learned from their most recent spectacular failures.  The Zune.  Vista.  Windows for netbooks. 

Nope.  They plan to put themselves right next to Apple stores where customers can clearly compare the two environments. 

M$FT will go down in flames if they go through with this.  I’m pulling all my investments out of index funds that hold M$FT now.

jbruni

Bryan,

You nailed something here when you listed all the various ways the Windows Message is already out there. In addition to what you listed, there are also community college classes on Windows and the various Office packages. The MCSE certification was nothing more than an in-house (mole) sales force.

People are already saturated with Microsoft: Their message is already in your face every day, but a lot of people (not all) want something either different or better. Yet, as John M. has pointed out in previous articles, MSFT is losing market share monotonically and there is probably nothing they can do to stop it, nor is there anything Apple can do to accelerate it. All Apple has to do is keep on keeping on.

Apple hit Microsoft’s core fixation with their “Bean Counter” ad. MSFT is more worried about getting their message out there (whatever that means), than creating a product people people actually want.

You face constant push pressure from Microsoft to buy their products, but their products don’t have any pull.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Devil’s advocate… The Apple stores sometimes have problems with kids hanging out at the computers checking their mail, etc. I’ve often seen staff move them along so that they could demonstrate systems to likely purchasers. What if the Microsoft stores used their space better and encouraged people to come in and do those things? Surface stations would make it an interesting and fun experience.

Or do you guys really think that Microsoft is so dumb and so arrogant that it wouldn’t come up with a very compelling reason to get visitors in if it really wanted to be in Apple’s face?

James

@Bosco

I’m sure they would try. Remember all those high profile music and media events, parties, etc. they did for the Zune? Having people take up space and play with your products is pretty meaningless if they never buy anything. How could they compete on price with other stores (selling their own products no less! Play in the MS store, go to Best Buy to purchase) without losing money on this venture too? Thy are going to be bleeding money so badly after all of this it’ll be ridiculous, and it’s a corner they have totally painted themselves into.

Oh, and I pulled out of their stock years ago.

Lee Dronick

Or do you guys really think that Microsoft is so dumb and so arrogant that it wouldn?t come up with a very compelling reason to get visitors in if it really wanted to be in Apple?s face?

Game playing contests, loud music, and video to bring the kids in. However, they may so dumb as not being able to pull this off, how much money and time did they spend developing Vista; That could have been an OSX killer instead of an Edsel.

Keith

Didn’t Dell try this already?  And fail?  A couple of years ago, the Apple Store at Walden Galleria Mall outside of Buffalo NY was joined by a little Dell kiosk right outside their door - they featured their towers, notebooks, TVs, etc.  Since they’re mail order, they couldn’t actually sell anything, but they were happy to assist you in ordering.  At that time I thought they were nuts - the kiosk wasn’t necessarily a bad idea but parking it right right outside of Apple was outright cheeky, and sure enough the kiosk didn’t last.  These days you can walk into a Wal-Mart and pick out a basic Dell PC (though there’s Wal-Mart’s typical lack of stock on such things to deal with, as well as lack of configurability and selection, that isn’t helping them out any).  If I have heard The Plan correctly (how Cylon of them) Microsoft will be partnering with HP and Dell to supply actual computers to sell.  I’ll go as far as giving them credit for the attempt, but deliberately buying up space next to their chief rival the way they’re hawking it… typical.

zeloeistotheo

I think there’s a serious issue M$ will face in trying to control their message in the retail space. In the retail space everything is idealized?a controlled environment with carefully scripted procedures. Both Apple and M$ will provide this type of experience.

I own and operate both Macs and PCs. I’m MCSE/MCSA certified and have serviced networks and computers in hospitals as well as homes. The idealized Apple experience is simply closer to reality than the Microsoft one. The reasons are simple: 1.) Apple has very little legacy support. 2.) Apple controls their own hardware. 3.) Apple controls their own software?they don’t subsidize machines with cheap 3rd party software that’s poorly integrated just to lower cost. 4.) Items 1-3 enable a much tighter ecosystem to educate and sell to the public.

That formula is not at all a reality for M$ and that’s why M$ will fail in with their own retail spaces. In store they will educate and make promises. Patrons will test that training in reality, only to find it doesn’t hold true. This will make M$ look unpolished, their ecosystem appear complicated, and their staff brimming with excuses. The M$ idealized, scripted, controlled training will hurt them in reality. The mess of hardware, software, legacy support, etc… will continue to erode M$‘s image in the eye of the public. 

I’ve worked enough at selling both Macs and PCs in the retail space to know this is true.

davebarnes

I think there?s a serious issue M$ will face in trying to control their message in the retail space. In the retail space everything is idealized?a controlled environment with carefully scripted procedures.

Excellent insight.

Modena

How will Microsoft that is creating a WalMart image going to survive in the world of GUCCI, Godiva, and Galleria?

People go to those malls and stores for an exclusive experience that makes them feel special and being a part of a special group.

When Microsoft aired the ad that said “Macs are too cool for me”  and all the rest of the laptop hunter ads, they took themselves out of that market. And they are going to keep running those ads to further that commodity image.

It takes a very holistic approach to marketing and branding to succeed in that segment. It’s in Apple’s DNA to be like this just as it is in Microsoft’s DNA to try to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

I think that Microsoft would be better off putting stores next to Best Buy and WalMart instead. They could check Microsoft’s stuff and then go next door to pick up their chosen hardware. You can’t create a special experience if this isn’t something that isn’t lived throughout all levels of the organization.

Tut

The only way this MS idea of opening shops could make any sence would be if MS intends to start making its own computers!

They have copied the iPod, now they will try to copy the iMac and Macbook.  To sell those as ‘premium hardware’ controlled by MS like the Macs are by Apple.

If that is not what they are planing to do, then this whole idea is a sign of despairation. You could almost feel sorry for the poor sods.

Matty G

to be honest I don’t see Microsoft actually going to all this effort for something that may not actually work so really it smells like vapourware. It’s going to get up the nose of every retail store large and small in the area.

people go to Apple stores to see Mac’s and Apple hardware, to see what they are like and what they can do, simply because they are a under represented section of the computer industry. Microsoft isn’t going to get anywhere by offering a source of alternative comparison just by setting up somewhere nearby. People already know Apple’s stuff costs more than regular stuff, a lot of people know how cheap/poor Microsoft stuff is and are looking for a change.

This retail idea has fail written all over it and if the fools at Microsoft go ahead with it, I for one welcome the comparison because it will be a back breaking mistake by the flagging industry giant

Thib

You wrote:

The other major purpose the Apple Store serves for Apple is as a base of operations to educate consumers. Apple needed high-profile locations to show off its products in the hands of employees under its control, that it trained.

This is really well said. I remember when Apple Stores first came out, it was in large part because so many other Apple retailers and Apple store within stores (e.g., Apple sections within Best Buy and CompUSA) just did not work. In those stores within a store, Apple products were not being peddled well and there were stories about how retail clerks were sending their customers away from the Mac section to the PC ones, in part because those clerks did not know much about Macs and knew a whole heck of a lot more about PCs. To those clerks who earned money via commission, selling a PC was more worth it than a Mac because they knew nothing about the Mac and couldn’t sell it.

For quite a number of years, the concept of store within a store for Apple did not pan out. Finally Apple decided to go into the retail business and from there the Mac bloomed like never before.

So, your article really makes a very good point. Apple had the need and still has the need for more exposure of its products. Microsoft doesn’t and having Microsoft specific stores really adds no value to the Microsoft market.

It’s not easy to peddle Windows OS and Office to the retail consumer. Those are rather boring features to be peddling about. Those features can be peddled to the corporate and business market but that market also doesn’t need a retail store to shop in. No IT professional is going to go to Microsoft Store on his or her day off to check out if the latest Office 2013 (or whatever it is) is going to work out for Corporate Headquarters. I mean, can you imagine this conversation:

KidsMomwhat are we going to do after we bathe the dog on Saturday morning?

IT MomWellkidslet's check out the latest Microsoft Store that just opened across town. 
Mommy'
s boss wanted to upgrade to Windows 7.5 and mommy 
wants to see 
if 7.5 is a good match for headquarters.

KidsYay! Do I have to put on my pants suit for the trip[Yeah rightC'mon. What the heck?] 

Yeah, I don’t think so.

Microsoft has a lot of money and resources, but it seems time and time again they are just not to be able to do good with them. It seems to always be reacting rather than actually having a clear philosophy of what it wants to do. From my outsider and not-so-expert view, they seem to merely react. They seem to only react to threat (perceived and otherwise).

Where is there vision? Maybe they don’t need Windows. They need a “Room with a View”. Instead, their Windows look out into the courtyard with nothing to see. No view. [In case you’re missing the pun, it’s E.M. Forster’s novel wink ]

Look at Apple. They run quite differently.

? iPhone came out not because Apple was responding to a threat (perceived or otherwise). They had a vision and could see a way to making smartphones more friendly and usable, so they designed a smartphone and came out with the iPhone.

? Look at the iPod. When it came out, MP3 players were not big. Again, they were not responding to threat. There was no threat in the MP3 market which primarily didn’t exist at all at the time iPods came out.

? Look at QuickTake camera. That was Apple’s first and only digital camera. While the product did not sell well, this is also another example of where Apple WAS NOT responding to a threat but instead had a vision about something and carried it out. Whether it was successful or not is a totally separate issue not related to whether or not a company has a vision.

? Look at the MacBook Air. Also, not responding to threat. No one was challenging Apple to an ultraportable.

And the list could go on and on.

Jose Blas

I would like to see how long it would hold a showroom full of Windows computers with users connected to the internet, I wouldn’t think that’s something MS can allow to happen, they would get infected daily…

Don McCracken

I’ve used PCs all my life. In 2003, I added my first Mac and have never looked back. That is until this month. It was time to upgrade my trusty PowerMac G5 to a Mac Pro. But this year, Apple has apparently raised the Mac Pro prices to ridiculous levels. The cheapest model was $2450 (1x2.66GHz), and the one I wanted (2x2.66GHz) was $4699 (last year 2x2.8GHz was $2800). After downloading a free trial copy of Windows 7, I decided to build my own PC. For under $1000, I built a PC with better specs than the low end Mac. Windows 7 is Microsoft’s best OS to date, and the gap with OS X is definitely closing.

Most people, even though they may prefer to buy a Mac, are price sensitive and can’t afford to pay Apple’s premiums. For them, I think a Microsoft store is a great idea which will benefit Microsoft. They can go to the Apple store to dream, but eventually buy a computer that meets their needs and fits their wallets in the Microsoft store.

Lee Dronick

After downloading a free trial copy of Windows 7, I decided to build my own PC. For under $1000, I built a PC with better specs than the low end Mac. Windows 7 is Microsoft?s best OS to date, and the gap with OS X is definitely closing.

What kind of work do you do Don? Did you have to also buy some expensive software such as Creative Suite?

Lee Dronick

Hey Don, and others, does this page seem very wide to you? My monitor is 1680 wide and I have to set the window that wide to read without having horizontal scroll bars. It is like the maxwidth property is set too wide.

MaxW

Hey Don, and others, does this page seem very wide to you? My monitor is 1680 wide and I have to set the window that wide to read without having horizontal scroll bars. It is like the maxwidth property is set too wide.

Yep… must be a glitch or sumthin’

JulesLt

I imagine that MS will be able to make a fair bit of money from selling selected partners hardware - and provided they steer clear of anti-trust legislation, this in turn will give then some leverage over their hardware partners.

The other key thing is that historically you’d go into PC World or wherever and the Macs were never really doing anything - so they just looked like more expensive better looking PCs. Even Mac resellers pre-Apple Store went with the approach of just sticking machines on display (they were selling Macs to customers who’d already decided on a Mac).

So there is definitely a lot MS can take from Apple in that respect - i.e. showing that you can easily make movies, music, etc, using a PC, and that the PC is not just for Office - which is how Apple have cleverly characterised them.

The problem for MS though is that they are still trying to straddle two markets - they want to be IBM and Apple at the same time, whereas those two firms understand exactly who their customers are.

The more MS focus on consumers, the more they risk alienating the business sector.

Photodan

Does this mean I won’t have to *ship* my Xbox360 back the next time it RRODs?

I’ve never seen a company that is so absolutely proud of a “me too” approach to everything.

-Dan

DanielDecker

@Don McCracken Really? That’s amazing, seeing as how the CPU in the lowend Mac Pro is $400 to $1500, all new licenses for your software, the case, PSU, fans, RAM, HD, Optical, cabling, video card, quality optical audio, FW 800, yearly subscription costs for security software, etc. You are very frugal indeed. Not to mention the cost of your time in building and supporting you little treasure.

I’m calling BS, but you have fun in Malware City chief.

Matty G

I?m calling BS, but you have fun in Malware City chief.

I’m glad someone said it, and quite eloquently too well done

Vito Positano

MS needs to do something else, more than the idea that it’s glaming off of the existing Apple store location, to attract attention to its store.

What if it did the following:

1. Build its stores in the basement; Apple builds up, while MS would build down.
2. Set its Zune adjacent to the iPhone.
3. A MacPro laptop next to a HP laptop, etc.
4. Staff its stores with geeks with anti-social skills.

Matty G

anti-social skills

lol when did anti social behaviour become a skill?

Nookster

Nice attitude Decker and G, a nice bitter twist to reinforce Don’s decision. The Mac Pro’s internals aren’t magically any better than a self-build PC, the BT will probably bet better for a start.

@Don McCracken Really? That?s amazing, seeing as how the CPU in the lowend Mac Pro is $400 to $1500, all new licenses for your software, the case, PSU, fans, RAM, HD, Optical, cabling, video card, quality optical audio, FW 800, yearly subscription costs for security software, etc. You are very frugal indeed. Not to mention the cost of your time in building and supporting you little treasure.

I?m calling BS, but you have fun in Malware City chief

Except he didn’t want the Quad, and compared to last years Harpertown prices, the cost of a 2009 8-core is pretty humorous. At least if he goes down the self-build route, his bluetooth might work properly.

DanielDecker

@Nookster Then why is Mr. McCracken looking at a Mac Pro? They have all been AT LEAST quad core machines since the beginning. And if you mean to suggest that he has somehow built an 8 Core machine for around a grand, then I stand by my call of BS.

Look, you can call me bitter, whatever. Deal is, how many times have there been posts like his? “I switched, blah blah blah, but now x is so much different, blah blah blah, I’m going back, blah blah blah.” Then you never really made the switch. You bought a Mac once. That’s it. If someone is so easily swayed back to Windows, then I say let ‘em go. But to make the outrageous claim that he has somehow managed to build a Mac Pro class workstation computer for under a grand. That IS BS. Dell can’t even do it.

Nookster

I’m not going to make pointless assumptions on what he ended up doing, that would be missing the point. The technical specs of what ever system he bought, wasn’t the real issue, the 2009 Mac Pro’s cost of entry was, and he’s correct. If I wanted something faster than my 2008 Octo, I’d need almost twice as much money, even in the HE store.

I generally give the benefit of the doubt, but if you think the posters just making lofty claims simply to cause a stir, then you’ve played right into his hands by offering a reaction.

Dustin

I think microsoft needs to go suck some guys cock behind the dumpster. I mean c’mon!! Do they really need to get competitive with apple ? It’s not like apple’s threatening them so badly they’re going to go out of business. Hello ? Whats the market share ? Like 85-15 now ? If it was like 65-35 already, then…then maybe they should get scared.

JulesLt

Firstly, which market?? Operating system sales, computer sales, media players, or smartphones - predicted to be the dominant means of Internet access within a decade. Not forgetting online music and software sales.

(On MS side they have games consoles, games publishing, and an infinitely more successful Office suite).

Secondly, Apple’s revenue is over 50% of Microsoft on that smaller market segment (largely because they sell the hardware and software) - although interestingly for those who think Apple has very high margins, Microsoft still has a proportionally higher net income from what it sells (as Windows is very expensive considering the size of sales compared to it’s costs).

http://www19.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=appl+microsoft

DanielDecker

@Nookster Oh, dear, I’m so sorry sir. Please forgive me for not conducting myself according to the rules of YOUR discussion forum. It won’t happen again. Oh, wait, that’s right. This is an open forum. If I’ve “played into his hands” so have you.

My point stands. There is no way he built a Mac Pro class machine for a grand. If he was willing to settle for something less than Mac Pro performance, Apple offers a nice lineup of iMacs that have incredible performance for much less.

I don’t see why you feel the need to defend the troll, he hasn’t bothered to do so himself.

harrier

I think it all comes down to Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates.  Steve Jobs is a true visionary who innovates.  Bill Gates is a true businessman who says visionary things.  An innovator is more likely to have a following than a businessman.  Microsoft doesn’t have a following.  Sure some of its products have followers but who aside from its employees stick Microsoft logos on their cars? 

The Microsoft stores most likely will also not do well for reasons described by other posters (mainly in that, if you can purchase Microsoft products everywhere, why seek out a Microsoft store?)

Nookster

@Nookster Oh, dear, I?m so sorry sir. Please forgive me for not conducting myself according to the rules of YOUR discussion forum. It won?t happen again. Oh, wait, that?s right. This is an open forum. If I?ve ?played into his hands? so have you.

My point stands. There is no way he built a Mac Pro class machine for a grand. If he was willing to settle for something less than Mac Pro performance, Apple offers a nice lineup of iMacs that have incredible performance for much less.

I don?t see why you feel the need to defend the troll, he hasn?t bothered to do so himself.

Apology accepted, although I have no clue what rules you’re on about.

Can’t disagree that this is a (reasonably) open forum though, so if you think ‘Don’ is a Troll, then you’re free to feed him if it makes you feel better, but don’t expect the rants to go unnoticed, it is public after all.

I don’t see why agreeing with at least one of the points he raised (not least because it’s true) has to be a wholesale defence, sitting in camps just encourages more stone throwing anyway.

You could have kept your necked yanked in and pimped the iMac in the first place, but you insisted on being confrontational, and now your are mouthing off at me because I concurred with his comment about pricing, as well as watch you make a proud flag waving fool of yourself.

Don McCracken

@Don McCracken Really? That?s amazing, seeing as how the CPU in the lowend Mac Pro is $400 to $1500, all new licenses for your software, the case, PSU, fans, RAM, HD, Optical, cabling, video card, quality optical audio, FW 800, yearly subscription costs for security software, etc. You are very frugal indeed. Not to mention the cost of your time in building and supporting you little treasure.

I?m calling BS, but you have fun in Malware City chief.

It’s not amazing. The 2.66 Intel i7 Core CPU for $280, basically have the same power as the more expensive Xeons. If you build a PC for $1000, you basically can get the same specs as a 4-core Mac Pro. Granted, it’s not a “Workstation”, however, but in real life use (Photoshop, encoding video, DAW etc.), you won’t notice any difference. At 40% of the Mac Pro price.

If you have the time, you could also put Leopard on a PC if you want. I have, and benchmarks are the same as 4-core Mac Pro.

All I’m saying is that, even if OS X is a superior OS, and I never thought I would be buying another PC, as Windows becomes better and the gap is closing,  the price premium for an Apple computer becomes harder to swallow. That’s all. MacBooks and iMacs are priced fine, but if you want an Apple where you can add/change HDs, PCIe cards and graphics cards, you’re getting sc**ed value wise. If Apple only offered a mid-range tower with an i7 Core CPU for $1500, we wouldn’t have this conversation.

I love Apple, but they really seem to want the “Professional” users, who need or want a tower, to pay for lower margins on MacBooks and iMacs. But everyone who wants a Mac tower is not a professional graphics designer, musician or video editor and have the budget that comes with that.

mike

You know, I am not a fan of Microsoft really.  I used to be a MS-based developer but they really destroyed the relationship between developers and themselves.  I have also been with Apple since the early 1980’s as a user but not so much a developer until this year.

I do recall, however, that it was Microsoft that injected a good deal of capital and support into Apple - propping it up in the early to mid 1990’s was it?  At the very least, the ability to continue to poke fun of Microsoft should come at the thanks TO Microsoft for if they didnt act back then, there may not be an Apple from which to poke fun at Micrsoft.

Lee Dronick

I do recall, however, that it was Microsoft that injected a good deal of capital and support into Apple - propping it up in the early to mid 1990?s was it?? At the very least, the ability to continue to poke fun of Microsoft should come at the thanks TO Microsoft for if they didnt act back then, there may not be an Apple from which to poke fun at Micrsoft.

It wasn’t that simple.

JulesLt

MS took (a minority) share in Apple, and of course committed to continue with MS Office on the Mac - as well as negotiating a patent-trading arrangement.

From a cynical point of view, they actually needed a (weak) rival at that point, in order to show they were not a monopoly - (i.e. there was no need to buy Windows to run Office, and users had a choice of OS).

That said, poking fun at Microsoft’s products has been going on ever since the 80s - I recall a humorous review of the first IBM PC that mocked it’s operating system.

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