Microsoft Store to Compete With Apple Store -- By Not Selling Anything

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Microsoft has not only hired former Apple Store VP of real-estate, George Blankenship to help launch their own Microsoft Store initiative, but according to Apple Insider, their key competitive strategy has been leaked:

Although the stores may sit near Apple's in the future, they're poised to largely be showcases meant to advertise the Windows, Xbox and Zune brands and less to actually sell products. As such, Microsoft will be paying for expensive leases but won't necessarily recoup its investment through actual sales.

Okay then...

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Microsoft Store to Compete With Apple Store -- By Not Selling Anything

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You've got to wonder what goes through Gate's head.........didn't they learn from their last retail attempt?

Chances are most people already know about Zunes, the Xbox, and Windows and the people who aren't buying them simply aren't going to buy them. What's the point of trying to advertise them even more? They're just wasting money.

It must be hard to increase sales when you already sell to everybody, except for Apple nerds who you were never going to win over anyway.

Well now instead of everyone lining up at Gamestop for midnight releases of Halo they can line up at Microsoft stores...

Perhaps its the sceptic in me here, but some 'leaks' are leaked for a reason, perhaps not entirely truthful. I very much doubt that they are having these stores as 'advertising platforms', even for MS this would be as Ben says, a complete waste of money.
I wonder if MS are actually planning something else, something that having these stores would aid them in getting a product/service into market. It wouldn't suprise me if they use those stores similar to Apples Genius Bar, think about it....how many people have issues with MS products, selling a 'MS Care' product not only gives them an extra revenue stream, but also gives them a line into selling existing and future products to those existing customers, thus increasing sales and paying for those expensive building leases that.

Well, I hope they do this soon so I can take pictures with the family. It will make an excellent teaching moment on for my 8 & 9 year old children on how not to run a business. Some day when they a grown with families of their own they can show their children the pictures and we all can get a good laugh out of it. If nothing else Microsoft has proven that they can be more entertaining than any reality show can possibly be. Causes there's nothing funnier than life itself.

If Seinfeld can be successful and be #1 for several years with a show about nothing why can't Microsoft be successful with a store that is in essence about nothing? In all seriousness, this is not about sales it's about changing hearts and minds. They'll use it to showcase their products and concepts like the 'surface' and even demo things like the 'Sync' that Ford currently offers and set top boxes for cable TV. While most folks know Microsoft on their PC's the company is looking to expand it's empire beyond the computer. This concept might be enough to pursued folks to 1) stick with the Softie; 2) buy a Sync the next time they buy a car; 3) influence their purchase of broadband and cable services; and 4) influence retailers to give the 'Surface' consideration after they show it at their own stores. See, there's a strategy there after all.

Ok, not smart on Microsofts part. Do you think having a customer going into your store to check out a zune is a good idea after walking out of an Apple store seeing an iPod?? When will they learn? Sad really.

@tom hanson: You're right. MS can't compete with Apple. This is because Apple is a hardware company, and Microsoft is a software company.
It's kinda like how 7-11 can't compete with Chipotle.

You guys read it wrong. They are still going to sell stuff. It's just not their main objective for
the store. They are mainly concerned about showing their products. Take your Apple loving glasses off when you read non-Apple articles.

@ Tom hanson
Microsoft is a giant. Apple pretends to be a giant. Most of apples. Success is attributed to the iPod and iPhone. Without them who is apple.

@Ted
When the main objective is not to sell, then the lease and other expenses wont be covered making this whole move stupid. hence the points made by the above comments.
It's ok u can let go of your Ballmer defense armor. We don't bite.

I still don't understand why when I walk by the Apple store in my mall why it's always packed with people just playing around. I am pretty sure people wouldn't mind playing around with xbox's on huge screens and having free internet no matter what store they're in. I bet the MS stores will be just as busy.

@tom hanson
Microsoft can't compete with Apple? That's funny. Please consult marketshare information, or risk sounding like a fanboy.

I can see it now: windows 7 experience, zunehd and zune marketplace,xbox and xbox live marketplace experience to test drive new games, Natal experience for windows and xbox, media center experience, test drive latest pcs and winmo devices, surface demos.
There all of that sounds interesthing to me.

I agree with Truth on this one.
As long as a store has cool technology, who cares what company owns it??

I think it will work. I see it being a place where you have a few demos of each project that you get to play with and not a shelve full of products. When you are ready to buy, someone goes to the back and get the product for you.
Microsoft needs to pair up with Dell, Palm, or other companies that run its software and get them in there as well. It would be a great fit.

@Carl:

betting on when Microsoft go in to administration?

By that do you mean Bankruptcy?
Not in your lifetime my friend.

I think it's hilarious that the fanboys on here can't seem to comes to terms that 1 billion computers are currently running windows OS. how many are running apple OX? @ Wyatt. you should take a photo to share with your kids. show them how to forge a company from garage project to the most succesful company since the rockafellers were bringing oil out of the earth, not to mention becoming the richest man on the planet.

Nothing like a classic Microsoft vs. Apple shootout on a subpar blog. Now I'm off to my local Apple store to just surf the internet and not buy anything. Just like everybody else.

I agree with The Reptile,
If MS opens their stores I bet that just as many people will go into them as Apple stores, Showcasing their XBoxs and Zunes and probalbly be loaded with HPs running windows 7. And plus a Ford sitting in the back showing how SYNC works. I'd still rather go into an Apple store though.

If MS builds it, people will come. Heck I will go, it won't entice me to switch back to MS though. It will be cool to check out the latest offerrings first hand however. I can't see them having a store and not selling anything though. They probably wouldn't sell computers, but they should sell all of the MS software, along with their own hardware line up, such as the Zune and Xbox. Good for them, it will be good competition and competition is good for everyone, Apple fanboy & MS Fanboy alike.

Everyone seems to think that this is a bad idea. I think that it could actually be a great idea. If you've ever been to a Sony Style store, you know that it is a very cool place where you can see tons of Sony gear but since you can buy almost everything they have online for less no one really buys things there. I see people in there all the time and I have never once seen someone being rung up. I could about guarantee you that they lose money on those store but it is a key component to their marketing campaign. I'll bet if you asked anyone at Sony if there goal is to sell anything at that store, they would say no or say that is a secondary goal. MS is doing the same thing. You can go in an play with an Xbox or a Zune and just get the experience, the sales themselves will take place elsewhere. Xbox is lightyears ahead (talking software here not console hardware) of PS and Wii right now. It would be stupid of MS to not capitalize on that by associating this great platform with their Zune and Windows franchises which are both poised to make huge releases in the near future. This is clearly a great move on their part.

@Truth: "Most of apples. Success is attributed to the iPod and iPhone. Without them who is apple."
That;s just like saying without windows and xbox who is microsoft

I love hearing people tear down Bill Gates and wondering "what is going on in his head." He must be doing something right in the business world since not only is the corporation he led extremely successful, but Gates himself is one of the richest people in the world.

.Such a large software company that has pretty much computer maker aside from apple by the nuts and this is all they can come up with? Aside from the xbox, I can't think of a single thing that MS makes that requires showcasing thats not at the local best buy.
They practically OWN the computer market, people have no choice but to run windows, Apple owns what? like 8% of the market? Much like Vista (which frustrated me so much i switched to apple), instead of addressing issues and complaints, MS uses marketing to make us this that WE'RE wrong (ex. Mojave Project). I don't think MS needs a store if Windows 7 is the Bee's Knees like MS says than, its a wrap, no more apple/linux switchers. As for Windows Mobile phones? they had were here first, they had more resources, and were backed by large handset makers, yet after all these years the OS still looks the same and still has the same problems, whos to blame here?
Microsoft is super rich, whether these stores succeed or fail, they'll still be rich. the ONLY PC OS for the mainstream as of now is windows, and will probably be for a long time.

When will Google join the party with some form of G-Store? It'll make sense for them to showcase and educate all their cool projects including ones that are in the pipeline, to the more general public.

Indescribably lame. Pathetic beyond words. Can't a company of the magnitude of Micro$oft EVER come up with an original idea? Well, um, er I suppose there WAS Microsoft BOB. The reason why that company is so filthy rich is they NEVER take chances. They merely glom on to a market someone else worked so hard to create, spend a TON of money to get their foot in the door and then proceed to make it TOTALLY AND 100% 'uncool'. They REALLY should be ashamed of themselves. I can't WAIT to stop in a Microsoft store and check out the next HOT Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. Maybe the next Windows PC that supports 'virtual smells' in Halo IV using a SmellBlaster 32?

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