Microsoft to open retail stores near Apple's

By on July 15, 2009, 5:18 PM
Microsoft first announced its plan to enter the retail arena back in February, when it hired Wal-Mart veteran David Porter. Now, during a keynote speech at the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner has confirmed they are on track to open the stores in the fall timeframe, with at least some of them to be located next to existing Apple stores.

He also said Microsoft wouldn’t be imitating Apple but rather innovating with the new stores – exactly how was not mentioned. Earlier this year, Microsoft officials said the stores would be more about building Microsoft’s consumer brand and demoing newer technologies – like Windows 7 and the Zune – than making them a cornerstone of its sales and distribution strategy as with Apple.

Indeed the software giant has had a much bigger focus on the entire distribution chain, so just going into direct competition with its partners wouldn’t make much sense. Perhaps the proximity to Apple stores is meant for users to compare prices themselves, which would be consistent with Microsoft’s latest advertising strategy, or maybe they’ll just showcase upcoming products from partners and their own to build up hype. We’ll just have to wait and see what exactly Microsoft’s plans are.




User Comments: 15

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tengeta tengeta said:

What exactly in the hell is Microsoft going to sell at these stores? Xbox 360's and 360 games?

I just don't get it, unless they debut the store with Microsoft branded PC's or something.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

I just don't get it, unless they debut the store with Microsoft branded PC's or something

That may very well be the case. There's money in it for them since they'll sell more MS products by selling brand new PCs, but it is difficult for me to imagine this being a success.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Its not difficult to imagine for me, they are a big+good name to the average person.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Why not after people buy a mac they can go next door and buy a copy of windows for boot camp.

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

Dell and Gateway tried going the retail brick and mortar store route and both were failures. Rather than "sell" games and keyboards (something Best Buy, Target, Wall-Mart, etc. are already doing quite well) they might have a better shot if they opened local neighborhood troubleshooting clinics for their products! You bring your CPU with problematic operating system issues or XBox in and get problems fixed on the spot for a fee. There are more than enough places already selling their products but not nearly enough fixing them!

craigwatanabe said:

As a system builder I'd love to see MS sell their operating systems (including XP) locally. Being in Hawaii an OEM version running $89 mail order costs just over $100 when you include shipping. Operating systems, CPU's, MS keyboards and mice would all be welcomed at these outlets. Everytime I walk in an Apple store, I feel like I'm walking into a Starbucks. If you don't know the lingo you feel like an outsider. I'm definately a PC'er and am eagerly awaiting MS to open up retail outlets ANYWHERE.

peas said:

Micro$oft = fa1L

foxrox foxrox said:

I think Microsoft stores would be very successful. I know a number of people that purchased Apple products simply because they had a storefront operation and liked the idea of being able to see and touch something before paying money for it. A lot of impulse buying takes place in a storefront. There is no reason not to believe a store selling Microsoft products would not be wildly successful for the same reasons. Putting their stores right next to an Apple store would be a brilliant marketing strategy and may even put some Apple stores out of business in the process.

As a PC, Microsoft fan and an anti-Apple person, I have found it entertaining to stand within earshot of a "Genius Bar" and listen to all of the whining and complaining about what a piece of crap their Apple products are, from those seeking service, exchanges and refunds.

In our Obamanomic depression, people are going to have less money to spend on trendy stuff and will need greater value from their dollar. That is the perfect setting for Microsoft to grow and increase their domination of computer world.

Guest said:

To all you game heads that don't get you just might if you knew the depth of Microsoft's offering from their Business Solutions division. Da!

fullmetalvegan fullmetalvegan said:

Micro$oft = fa1L

Wow, the intelligence of this guy's comment amazes me. Surely he has made this statement from viable sources.

pmshah said:

tengeta said:

What exactly in the hell is Microsoft going to sell at these stores? Xbox 360's and 360 games?

I just don't get it, unless they debut the store with Microsoft branded PC's or something.

They could have separate sections displaying their premier partners' products with every possible MS software loaded and ready for demo.

T77 T77 said:

this is called cut-throat competition :P

Guest said:

In all fairness, it would be good for business if Microsoft did open a store front (albeit, not RIGHT NEXT DOOR to Apple- that's just juvenile). But as a success, I don't see this happening, at least not for Windows, or any other software (unless they sell at "wholesale" price...but that's not gonna happen). As for things like the Zune and 360; and maybe that big a** table computer (Microsoft Surface), I can see that as a viable option that may very well [maybe] work.

To me, it doesn't matter, I'm neither an Apple fan nor a Microsoft fan. If I had it my way, I would set up a GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris "store" right between them and do the annoying Balmer promo: "How much do you think it would cost? $500? $1000!? NOOO, JUST $99-erm. Actually. Its free. What's you're favorite color? Turquoise-Mint-Azalea with sparkles? There's a Linux Flavor for that. Here, have a copy."

Plus, iPods and Zunes, all they are is harddrives with a filesystem and software to play back the content on them. There are HUNDREDS of alternatives. Better than both combined sometimes.

In the end it wont matter, both companies will [hopefully] innovate and try to outdo each other, store-front or not. Win-Win or Lose-Lose.

Guest said:

I would like to know if MAC or Microsoft would give me Microsoft Linux or LinuxApple support and if Microsoft would not mind giving me tech support to run Excel on WINE under Debian, LMAO

xlabitor said:

wow this is very interesting I think they should make a xbox 360 but update the system put in blue ray and a cooling system me my self dont care about the size just the performance and the online play but playstation 3 has outstanding graphics just as well as the xbox 360

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