Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Feb 2009 10:46 UTC
Microsoft Following in the footsteps of the likes of Apple and Sony, Microsoft has announced via a press release that it is going to launch a chain of Microsoft-owned and operated retail stores. From the press release it becomes clear that the retail stores are not so much about making huge profits, but more about learning from customers what they want and to spread the Microsoft brand.
Order by: Score:
The beginning of the end
by darrelljon on Fri 13th Feb 2009 11:57 UTC
darrelljon
Member since:
2008-05-29

What a way to squander a fortune! As your brand is becoming less popular (unlike Apple whose brand is becoming more popular) move from online into retail where expenses are higher and profit margins are smaller. Its only downhill from here.

Reply Score: 4

RE: The beginning of the end
by christianhgross on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:53 UTC in reply to "The beginning of the end"
christianhgross Member since:
2005-11-15

Actually I completely agree here. In 1996 I was living in Zurich, and in Zurich there was a Microsoft store. So this was something they did before.

If Microsoft REALLY wanted to make themselves hip and cool, then they should focus! Here is a suggestion, focus on a lean and mean Windows! Get rid of all of the crud and just create a lean and mean Windows. I think you would be surprised how many people would think twice about Windows then...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The beginning of the end
by marafaka on Fri 13th Feb 2009 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE: The beginning of the end"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

If you had a system that never gets in your way, you wouldn't notice it. You wouldn't know there is one or who made it.

On the other hand, if somebody here likes nayked laidies please raise your hands!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The beginning of the end
by Jemm on Sat 14th Feb 2009 10:18 UTC in reply to "RE: The beginning of the end"
Jemm Member since:
2005-07-25

Here is a suggestion, focus on a lean and mean Windows! Get rid of all of the crud and just create a lean and mean Windows.


They are way ahead you - it's called "Windows 7" ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The beginning of the end
by darknexus on Sat 14th Feb 2009 17:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The beginning of the end"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Uh, judging from the public beta, Windows 7 is far from lean. It's leaner than Vista, but even OS X Leopard is lighter than that hog of an os, and no one can pretend OS X Leopard is small.
Granted, I am judging from the public beta, and it's not the final. Hopefully MS can make it leaner and meaner, but I doubt it based on their previous track record.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The beginning of the end
by texastailspin on Tue 17th Feb 2009 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE: The beginning of the end"
texastailspin Member since:
2009-01-05

Microsoft couldn't be hip or cool or any other positive verb to save their lives . . .

Reply Score: 1

RE: The beginning of the end
by jayson.knight on Fri 13th Feb 2009 13:15 UTC in reply to "The beginning of the end"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

What a way to squander a fortune!


With over 100 billion in the bank, this is a move MS can afford regardless of whether it works out or not. Business is all about trying new things...some of these things succeed, others fail.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The beginning of the end
by bm3719 on Fri 13th Feb 2009 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE: The beginning of the end"
bm3719 Member since:
2006-05-30

I admit I think that this doesn't sound like an amazing idea. You can already go buy MS stuff in Staples if you really want to, and most of the people I know just place their orders online or over the phone. However, it might be a good marketing idea, if executed properly.

But yeah, the people that bash businesses for taking risks tend to be the ones in their "secure" jobs, working for a company that was started by a guy who took a very similar risk. Most businesses fail. A few go on to make millions. I can guarantee you won't make millions if all you do is work for $40k/yr for someone else and spend all your income on consumer products.

Reply Score: 1

might be interesting
by kamil_chatrnuch on Fri 13th Feb 2009 11:57 UTC
kamil_chatrnuch
Member since:
2005-07-07

http://www.youtube.com/v/EEW8ITpUvSs&fmt=18

basically to get hands-on experience with new software, xbox360, xbox360 games, media centers, desktops and laptops.

Reply Score: 2

name
by stooovie on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:10 UTC
stooovie
Member since:
2006-01-25

Retail Consumer Experience! Yeah! That brand name is bound to amaze masses!

Reply Score: 1

Might Be A Smart Move....
by Pelly on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:23 UTC
Pelly
Member since:
2005-07-07

This might turn out to be a very smart move that could garner Microsoft a brighter future.

In the last several years, Linux has moved forward as have BSD, OSX and others. Add to this the recent blow to MS when Cuba announced they were going to move away from MS products. Losing an entire government is a huge financial set-back.

It might be nice to go into a Microsoft Store and try out their new hardware & software products? Remember when Apple relaeased the iPhone? EVERY Apple store was packed with people playing with and purchasing iPhones.

Every company drools at the prospect of having what Apple had with the release of the iPhone.

I'd be interested in seeing what MS does with their concept of a retail store. Would it rival Apple? Would it force Apple to change/add locations or alter their pricing?

There are a lot of plus factors in this, regardless of how people feel about MS.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Might Be A Smart Move....
by dmrio on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:49 UTC in reply to "Might Be A Smart Move...."
dmrio Member since:
2005-08-26

A very smart one. Microsoft already have a strong relationship with corporate consumers and this should strenght it even more, given the fact that people tend to see the Microsoft brand often. There is a household market to conquer (expand?), and a Microsoft Retail Store is a good place to show how Windows is easy for grandma.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Might Be A Smart Move....
by helf on Fri 13th Feb 2009 13:07 UTC in reply to "Might Be A Smart Move...."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

um, Cuba didn't pay for most, if any, of their MS software.

Edited 2009-02-13 13:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Might Be A Smart Move....
by marafaka on Fri 13th Feb 2009 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Might Be A Smart Move...."
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

I'm amazed that anything but BSD isn't banned on Cuba.

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Why would Cuba re-deploy something that failed four decades ago and as a track record proving it's not free software nor really Open Source , that don't even support their language or hardware and what's worst itself ?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Might Be A Smart Move....
by Moulinneuf on Fri 13th Feb 2009 19:08 UTC in reply to "Might Be A Smart Move...."
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

BSD advance , where ? the only project that got wide release is Google chrome and by all measure of wide release by Google it's a failure.

iTune store and App store are more a success then the iPhone itself.

Does Lada , Opel , Ford affect Ferrari decisions ? Answer is No.

Reply Score: 2

The ZUNE store
by Adurbe on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:25 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

MS have enough bits of hardware that can fill a shop

XBOX
Keyboards and Mice
Zune
Webcams and so on

they also have a small sideline in software to fill any gaps on the shelves...

Edited 2009-02-13 12:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: The ZUNE store
by areimann on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:53 UTC in reply to "The ZUNE store"
areimann Member since:
2006-06-12

they also have a small sideline in software to fill any gaps on the shelves...


Yeah, I heard they have some kind of work-place related word processor, but that will never prosper. I think they have some product called, Windows XP Office that runs every thing on your computer too. ;)

Reply Score: 1

MS make plenty of hardware
by unclefester on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:45 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

MS make plenty of hardware - some of it is pretty decent. I bet they will introduce some MS branded computers in the near future.

Reply Score: 2

RE: MS make plenty of hardware
by mabhatter on Fri 13th Feb 2009 17:09 UTC in reply to "MS make plenty of hardware"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

MS make plenty of hardware - some of it is pretty decent. I bet they will introduce some MS branded computers in the near future.

If Microsoft sold actual computers, I'd expect Dell, HP, and Acer, etc, etc to slap them with the mother of all anti-trust suits. These guys practically purgered themselves to keep Microsoft out of anti-trust trouble last time... they have lots of documents that would drastically incriminate the big Microsoft.

I think if Microsoft DID come out with a "computer" it would be "xbox" based.. They've been buying up virtualization companies and positioning things like .net to be CPU agnostic for a while. Imagine the suits that would eat up a glued-shut system where software was locked down and stable and as easy to install as an Xbox game... (ok, don't imagine that if you get paid good money to fix the current Mess) But that wouldn't run "windows" so it wouldn't be a "PC". The trick would be to get people on the .Net software that can easily be packaged for other CPUs and DRM'd. So ISVs could quickly adapt... something Microsoft is incapable of doing (look at them begging for Vista support)

Unfortunately, Microsoft is incapable of the kind of secrecy needed to pull something like this off. They have the technical skills, but not the marketing and management skills that Apple has.

Reply Score: 2

A World of Hurt
by segedunum on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:57 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft are in for a world of hurt, ridicule and a lot of wasted money if they follow through with this. They simply don't have a brand or an image that anyone cares about like Apple or Sony. Sony's name isn't even that great, and their stores have a reputation for being grossly overpriced.

I am excited about helping consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases....

:-) I think this is something they don't want to get involved in. It's a completely different world they know nothing about where their general attitude will kill the business.

Edited 2009-02-13 13:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: A World of Hurt
by vitae on Sat 14th Feb 2009 07:13 UTC in reply to "A World of Hurt"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20


:-) I think this is something they don't want to get involved in. It's a completely different world they know nothing about where their general attitude will kill the business.


Agreed. Retail is a tough business. Now they'll be competing against the likes of Walmart and Target. Good luck with that.

Reply Score: 2

A great idea
by marafaka on Fri 13th Feb 2009 13:32 UTC
marafaka
Member since:
2006-01-03

I got an idea that wants to be shared. If anybody wants to file a patent on it - be my guest, I don't have time for this, I'm a honest family man.

So if you leave your computer unattended, and a monitor is turned off by APM, there could be a method integrated in the computer (hardware device most likely) that would prevent you to use the input devices. If you cannot see the desktop, how can you know what you're typing, so it would be the best to prevent this.

But not only for desktops, not only for MS Windows and OSX users! Imagine what a great tool that would be for headless systems! Thousands of users are connecting to such systems via SSH and other methods and are typing in stuff blindly, without actually seing the desktop and thus causing chaos all over the world. This invention could probably be enforced under the Patriot act.

One has to wonder, why nobody thaught of that before?!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: A great idea
by h3rman on Fri 13th Feb 2009 16:06 UTC in reply to "A great idea"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

You're a genius.

Reply Score: 3

That is seriously
by defdog99 on Fri 13th Feb 2009 15:12 UTC
defdog99
Member since:
2006-09-06

The smartest thing ever...

How many of us have had to fix a friends windows machine ...

Everyone of us...

Now we can send them to the Microsoft store, and they can reinstall drivers and scan for spyware, and run 2 hours of windows updates.

Awesome !

Reply Score: 4

RE: That is seriously
by darknexus on Fri 13th Feb 2009 16:13 UTC in reply to "That is seriously"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

What? No thanks, I charge people for that ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I charge people to do that
by glarepate on Fri 13th Feb 2009 20:45 UTC in reply to "RE: That is seriously"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

How much do you think MSFT would charge them to do that?

How long do you think it would be until they needed that service again?

If it is a cyclical activity do you think people would prefer to bring it to you or to them?

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft To Launch Retail Stores?
by Laurence on Fri 13th Feb 2009 15:17 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Apple and Sony, Microsoft has announced via a press release that it is going to launch a chain of Microsoft-owned and operated retail stores. From the press release it becomes clear that the retail stores are not so much about making huge profits, but more about learning from customers what they want and to spread the Microsoft brand.


With PCWorld and the like, don't Microsoft already have hundreds of retail stores worldwide?

Reply Score: 3

Good Sign
by membrain on Fri 13th Feb 2009 15:25 UTC
membrain
Member since:
2008-06-19

They realize now that they can not remain this faceless brand that everyone just happens to have products of because they simply come with every computer and that's it. Microsoft is starting to become an actual, real company now.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good Sign
by vitae on Fri 13th Feb 2009 16:05 UTC in reply to "Good Sign"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Either that or start making their own commercials where Justin Long isn't making them look ridiculous.

Reply Score: 2

depends
by Nex6 on Fri 13th Feb 2009 16:48 UTC
Nex6
Member since:
2005-07-06

could be good or bad, depending on its focous and how its setup.

Reply Score: 2

not impressed
by rramalho on Fri 13th Feb 2009 16:50 UTC
rramalho
Member since:
2007-07-11

A space where they show-off their products, sell some FUD, try to be another Apple, and have a bite on the apple...

They'll do joint ventures with Toshibas, Hps, etc and have 'cool' products on the shelves.

I think it's a stupid move. It's just not their business, but what the hell... They're successful on most businesses they enter.

Reply Score: 1

RE: not impressed
by membrain on Fri 13th Feb 2009 16:57 UTC in reply to "not impressed"
membrain Member since:
2008-06-19

Yes good observation, and the thing is Windows 7 is not THAT great. I really imagine it in a very absurd way, they try to announce and market Windows 7 in this super-duper great way, but all that people really want is just XP updated to be able to play the latest DX 10/11 games and be able to use new hardware, and new updates for the OS. It will work for SOME people, but will be overall pretty ridiculous.

Reply Score: 2

RE: not impressed
by atsureki on Sun 15th Feb 2009 02:29 UTC in reply to "not impressed"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

I think it's a stupid move. It's just not their business, but what the hell... They're successful on most businesses they enter.


I'm not sure about that one, depending on what you mean by entering a business. They've deployed Office, Windows, and Server to lots of companies for lots of tasks, but their other actual products are all money holes and flops.

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q1.07/50755EA6-A759-42FD-...
http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/01/11/ces-fear-and-loathing-in-l...

Xbox 360 is the famous money hole and Zune the famous flop, but then people don't really think about things like Tablet PCs (or buy them, for that matter).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: not impressed
by sbergman27 on Sun 15th Feb 2009 02:55 UTC in reply to "RE: not impressed"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

but their other actual products are all money holes and flops.

I guess the nice thing about having virtually unlimited money is that you can throw large bills of various denominations at the wall just to see which ones stick. It would be interesting to see how they would react if someone cut off *their* air supply. "Knifed the baby", so to speak.

Edited 2009-02-15 02:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Is there some difference?
by sbergman27 on Fri 13th Feb 2009 18:53 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Whenever I walk into any sort of computer store, which is admittedly something I try to avoid, in the same sort of way as I avoid the idiocy which we call TV programs (and their associated commercials) today, I'm always struck by the fact that no matter who owns and operates them, they are run *as though* they were owned by Microsoft. I guess Microsoft fears that might change, and has decided to take a more "hands on" monopolistic approach from now on.

Fine with me. Puts them more recognizably in sync with "traditional monopolies" like Standard Oil. People like my dad, who think you've got to be brick and mortar to be monopoly, will start to recognize them as such.

The nice thing about monopolies is that their own implicit desires eventually result in the actions they take which, in turn, result in their inevitable demise.

The nasty thing about monopolies is that if they play their cards right, it can take a *very* long time for them to get to that point.

This is starting to look like end-game for Microsoft. I give them 10 years, or less, before they are "just another IBM". But I don't weep for them. Being another IBM is hardly a bad thing to be. Just a less *harmful* thing to be.

Edited 2009-02-13 18:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Here's an idea
by shotsman on Fri 13th Feb 2009 18:53 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

Microsoft should buy out PC-World.
After all they can't make any more of a hash out out of it that DSG International (aka Dixons). Perhap they can train the staff a bit better than their current employers do?

Hmmm, on second thoughts perhaps they can.

This is a total crap idea unless they have the gall to CHARGE makers like HP & DELL to display their PC's in their magical emporium. And they will all be scrabbling to get their wares on display in case they don't lose out to a competitor. Sigh

All I wonder is how long it is going to take for some script kiddie to seed a virus into their network...
I'll donate £10.00 to Red Nose day if it is more than 1 hour.

Reply Score: 2

microsofts idea of hip
by GCrain on Fri 13th Feb 2009 18:56 UTC
GCrain
Member since:
2005-07-11

Instead of a Genius Bar, they should do something more in the spirit of Microsoft. I'm thinking a 'Bridge bar' in the spirit of Bill Gates' love of bridge tournaments. Young, hip people will flock to the store to learn how to play Bridge and maybe pick up a brown Zune while they are at it....

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Fri 13th Feb 2009 20:19 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Can you imagine that many Microsofties under one roof? Spurting incomprehensible babble to customers, explaining why the red ring of death is a good thing, somehow, for the umpteenth time, and basically trash-talking anything and everything Mac/Linux/threat-to-their-ignorance.

You walk into a store and it’s already full of Microsoft software with little choice, now imagine it full of people with no clue as well. I couldn’t imagine a worse shopping experience.

Saracasm people ;) . I’m sure these MS shops won’t be quite as tumbleweed-empty as Sony stores.


--
Oh, I should add, it’ll be a great place to *not* get advice about free software to meet your needs, instead of overpriced Office software.

Think of it this way - it will be the staff’s *job* to sell MSOffice instead of OpenOffice, WMP instead of VLC, Zune instead of iPod, WMA/DRM instead of MP3, OneCare instead of AVG/Avast...

Edited 2009-02-13 20:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Bad apple store copy
by bnolsen on Fri 13th Feb 2009 21:21 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

That's what I expect, a really bad copy of the Apple Store. Either it'll be really stiff or really outrageous, I'd bet on the stiff side...

Zune, 360, their new smart phone, all their keyboard/mice/gaming peripherals. And a shelf for each version of windows and for each piece of office.

Reply Score: 2

What were they smoking?
by anomie on Sat 14th Feb 2009 01:07 UTC
anomie
Member since:
2007-02-26

Full disclosure: it matters little to me what happens to MSFT, but this concept is bizarre enough that I have to comment.

The first thing I thought when I read the story was: How does this improve their bottom line? As far as I can tell this is strictly an expensive and elaborate marketing effort. OSes and applications are already available at plenty of retail stores and on the 'net. I don't see anyone going out of his way to stop by a Microsoft store for the latest copy of Office.

From the article:

We’re also working hard to transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience at retail by improving the articulation and demonstration of the Microsoft innovation and value proposition so that it’s clear, simple and straightforward for consumers everywhere.


So they're going to roll out an entire (experimental) sub-business so that a full-time staff in blue shirts can explain why there are so many versions of e.g. Vista?

If I were a substantial shareholder, I'd do everything I could to put a stop to this - and fast.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by cmost
by cmost on Sat 14th Feb 2009 01:53 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I wonder if some of the stores will shut down unexpectedly or if clerks will follow customers around accusing them of shoplifting. Will customers have to prove they're really customers before they will be allowed to buy anything? This reminds me of that old joke that passed around e-mail some time ago entitled "If General Motors were like Microsoft..". The concept of Microsoft stores is laughable.

Reply Score: 3

Made me laugh.
by zenulator on Sat 14th Feb 2009 21:54 UTC
zenulator
Member since:
2008-06-29

It sounds like a bad joke at first but in reality it's a good idea. Take into account that they would have higher profit margins selling hardware and software direct to customers and cutting out the middle man. As long as the store overhead doesn't eat too much of the gross profit it's a win for Microsoft. Keep the stores in major cities or near factory outlets. I'll believe it when I see it.

Reply Score: 1

they are going to look ver familiar.
by 2501 on Sun 15th Feb 2009 15:26 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

Are they going to look like Walmart???? Maybe like the
candy store!

Reply Score: 1

We must say no to Microsoft Stores
by texastailspin on Tue 17th Feb 2009 20:08 UTC
texastailspin
Member since:
2009-01-05

What makes a Diamond? heat and pressure . . . of course it starts with coal . . . in the current market Microsoft is just "coal" but they are under much more pressure today than they have ever been. If they keep the pace they have; in just a decade or so they will be at best #2 in the global OS market. I think it is important to boycott the MS stores, this will continue the pace until Microsoft learns a good lesson. After the dismal failure of Vista and the advancements of Linux and software development in general Microsoft for the first time in the history of the company sees the day they will have true competition on the desktop. It will happen; it is just a matter of time. This article is part of the recent slue of information that proves MS is having serious market trouble. Think about it . . . why else would they need to take such a drastic measure? They will be spending hundreds of millions to make this happen. For those of us that are informed we see the writing on the wall just as MS sees it. Just wait and watch.

Reply Score: 1