Microsoft to open retail stores

By on February 13, 2009, 11:44 AM
After months of rumors, Microsoft today confirmed it will attempt to mirror the success that rival Apple has enjoyed in recent years by opening its own chain of retail stores. Without getting into details the company said it is hiring a former Walmart executive to lead the effort and help create a better “PC and Microsoft retail purchase experience for consumers worldwide.”

The idea is to create a deeper engagement with consumers. It should also give Microsoft the opportunity to show off and hype Windows 7 in a controlled environment to try and make up for Vista’s poor reception. Moreover the store is expected to feature the company’s software and hardware, including the Xbox 360 console and Windows Mobile handsets, but could also display other products from partners that perhaps are hard to fit into the big-box retail shopping experience, like high-end Alienware PCs or media servers.

User Comments: 11

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DarkCobra said:
OK . . . I'll take first crack at this one . . . What are they going to sell that can't already be easily bought on line or in any other venue? Unless, they plan on under-selling their own existing retail merchants with significantly lower prices for their own products (something that would cause those merchants to understandably dump their products in disgust) . . . just what is the real point to these MS stores?Note to Steve Ballmer: Why are you wasting the shareholders money in opening stores instead of putting your resources into finally developing a new modern OS and Browser? You're trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist you *****! We don't have a problem "Finding" your products in stores . . . we're simply having problems with your PRODUCTS! Duh, get a clue dude!
BlindObject said:
I think they're trying to be as gay as Apple. Maybe it makes more money.
spydercanopus said:
NOOO! The only reason geeks like microsoft is because we can profit from being the proxy between the hive mind of MS and the common user. Now they're enslaving the geek... this is the beginning of the end of the computer nerd as we know it.
Julio said:
Like the article points out, Microsoft has more than Windows to show in their own stores like Mobile OS applications and the Xbox, which I have no doubt will appeal and entertain a fair amount of people.But touching on the PC side specifically, if done right, I don't think this is such a bad idea. Being able to showcase technologies and promote areas of PC computing that are lost in translation when simply buying a PC from a chain retailer.Again, that's only when done right and when the right environment and experience is put forth to the potential visitor. On the other hand, if they just want to mimic other retailers and aim at maximizing profits, then I'm sure they will fail miserably.
tengeta said:
I'd have to argue its more tempting to go to than an Apple Store, but the likelihood is still very slim.
yukka said:
This will only work if the people hired to work the store know what they are talking about. Otherwise it will be a very annoying place to ask for any information about the products.Seems like a waste of a MCITP to stand in a shop all day long fielding questions doesn't it?
old101 said:
IBM could not make their stores work, and neither will Microsoft. MS are becoming a conglomerate whether they know it or not. Hiring a grocery expert to run their new business is some kind of comedy coup.Somebody should tell MS that conglomeration is a failed concept of the sixties and seventies, where companies bought out other companies in unrelated businesses. Based on the failed belief that if you succesfully managed an ice cream parlor you could manage IBM, because "Managenment" was a science in itself, and once you obtained the skill you could manage anything. Time proved the concept wrong.
Julio said:
Calling Walmart a grocery store seems to be a tad off, though I agree that mere experience in the retail channel won't guarantee success on such a tried venture.
nazartp said:
Don't know if it will work. Talking to people about computers at general electronics stores is beyond annoying. If MS can get people behind counters that can showcase their product and answer intelligently to customers' questions, it may work. So far I enjoy discussing my questions with salespeople in only two stores: Microcenter and B&H.
MichaelLS said:
Well said Old101!And the management at Micro$oft certainly appears to be old school.This is really about Brand Name Recovery.Won't work!
FoReWoRd said:
if they don't come to UK it is OK...
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