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Thread: Microsoft Stores

  1. #1
    Spinning Toe
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    Microsoft Stores

    I was in Seattle this week and visited Bellevue Square where there is a Microsoft Store and an Apple Store, almost literally down the street from a very tall Microsoft building. The Apple Store was smaller, but was literally packed with people. The Microsoft Store was much larger and had more employees than shoppers inside. This was around 3:00 in the afternoon. I imagine the difference might be even more pronounced in the evening.

    I also saw a shopper empty Microsoft Store in University Village in Seattle (there was a women entering with an HP something or other in a box).

    Other than trying to copy Apple, what exactly is Microsoft trying to accomplish with these stores? If you want to do a very quick anecdotal analysis of who is succeeding and failing at retail, compare areas where Apple and Microsoft Stores co-exist. I'm not sure that Microsoft is really trying to sell anything in these places. Maybe a place for people to try stuff before they buy it on Newegg?

  2. #2
    World's End Supernova
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    I guess for Windows phones? I can't really think of another reason to walk into a Microsoft specific store. To try out a Kinect, maybe?

    I think these stores are basically just trying to keep Microsoft relevant in the "cool" brand name area. Apple has stores so, hey, we have stores too! It's basically marketing and I agree with you that I don't think they actually expect to sell much through them.

  3. #3
    How To Go
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  4. #4
    How To Go
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    You can sometimes get a decent deal on a spyware-free pre-setup laptop.

  5. #5
    Mad Chester
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    I don't think Microsoft ever wanted to go into the retail business but since their partners completely failed to compete with Apple that decided to go in. Every PC manufacturer abandon the premium market to go to low end, and instead of fine tuning Windows to there hardware they filled their products with crapware, so Microsoft sells is their store a Windows Laptop fine tuned and no crap-ware. Every retail store just piles on computers in a shelf and offers crappy costumer service post sale, so Microsoft makes a store that competes with Apple in costumer service. Apple dominates the premium market and If Microsft doesn't try to do something is clear that none of there partners is going to do it.

  6. #6
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    The NYT covered this a couple of weeks ago
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/us...le-stores.html

  7. #7
    Spinning Toe
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyjamarama View Post
    I don't think Microsoft ever wanted to go into the retail business but since their partners completely failed to compete with Apple that decided to go in.
    The main problem I see is price. Apple controls the price for most things in its store. There are few alternatives for cheaper prices. Microsoft can sell something at one price, but there are lots of alternative places to buy an HP laptop (for example). I actually didn't compare prices to see how much of a markup their store is charging compared to a Best Buy or Amazon. But I will the next time I am in Seattle!

  8. #8
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    The MS Stores actually had a pretty awesome deal on desktops about a month ago. Something like $300 in store credit on models $799 and up. Insane, yes, but awesome. Too bad I have no need to replace my Core i7 box. Three years old, and it's still got more than enough power for anything I throw at it.

  9. #9
    World's End Supernova
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    It's ironic in some ways. One of the reasons Apple started its own stores was because retail chains weren't really committed to a lot of Apple products, like their desktops and laptops. Now that they actually have stuff consumers want Apple stores actually work despite many of those products being available elsewhere at the same price.

    I have to think that Microsoft has a similar long-term strategy, i.e. products that they have in the pipeline that will be branded to their name. So Windows phones for sure, but also windows tablets and maybe another mp3 player product. Otherwise their stores don't make much sense as they can never really differentiate themselves based on more expensive PCs.

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