Microsoft to Copy Apple's Geniuses with Gurus

Microsoft is prepping to insert its own version of the Apple Genius, dubbed Microsoft Gurus, in stores like Best Buy and Circuit City, but unlike the Genuis Bar staff, Microsoftis pros will only help with pre-sale questions, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Tom Pilla, Microsoftis general manager of corporate communications, isnit comparing the Microsoft Gurus to the Apple Genius bar team. "Think of that as borrowing a page from Nordstrom with that retail customer experience," he said.

The Gurus will be placed in stores to help potential customers select Microsoft solutions and to offer pre-sale support. They will not, however, be available for post-sale support, unlike the Genius Bar staff, potentially limiting their usefulness to new Microsoft customers.

The Microsoft Guru program is part of a US$300 million campaign the Redmond-based company has launched in an effort to improve its image. The company recently launched a new TV ad series with Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld as part of its image revamp, too.