microsoft store Rumor around the web today is that Microsoft plans on opening retail stores, much like what Apple has done. Their first two stores opened up in May of 2001, and they currently have over 200 of them open. Now it appears Microsoft wants to follow in Apple’s footsteps. Fudzilla was the first to report this and they say, “our sources close to Microsoft have confirmed that the company wants to reach out for the retail market presence.  Microsoft wants to open and create many retail shops dedicated exclusive to Microsoft and its products.” Apple has been so successful with their stores, would Microsoft be able to be a success?

One of the Apple Store’s best features is the Genius Bar. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it, but customers are able to come in and receive advice or install/set-up services for their Apple products. If Microsoft were to take a similar route and offer a place where Windows users could come in to get help, this could be HUGE for them. How many times have you had to go help or offer advice to someone with an installation of Windows? Too many people need help with various aspects of their Windows-based PC’s, and so Microsoft setting up a place like Apple’s Genius Bar would be gold.

Like Apple, if Microsoft were to open retail stores, we’re sure they’d sell not only software but peripherals as well. Microsoft has a whole line of mice, keyboards, and other accessories that could be sold.  And then of course there are entertainment devices like the Zune or the Xbox 360 that Microsoft could sell and all of the accessories that go along with them. They could easily fill a store with products, but could they fill a store with people?

One of the key things that has helped Apple is their marketing team. They certainly know how to market Apple products, and even the stores themselves. If Microsoft wanted to fill their stores with people as eager to learn about Windows products and purchase them, they too will need to spend some serious time coming up with a marketing plan.

Source: Crunch Gear

There Are 8 Comments

  1. Ashley:

    “Microsoft wants to open and create many retail shops dedicated exclusive to Microsoft and its products.” Apple has been so successful with their stores, would Microsoft be able to be a success?”

    I think this is a fantabulous idea.  Having dedicated retail stores strategically located in the U.S. and abroad, will give Microsoft an excellent opportunity to push their products (softare/hardware).  Plus increasing their sales revenue, they would also promote their brand recognition.  I can imagine Microsoft stores in China, Rusia, Argentina, Panama, France and Japan just to name a few.

    There are some “Ifs” to consider though.  If the decoration is right, if Customer Service is friendly and if the Marketing Plan is adequately designed, then Apple has to run for its money.

     Good point, Ashley.

  2. Then they’ll be using Surfaces in the stores they open up. That’d be fun! ;)

    I guess Microsoft has a big chance if they do play it right. Not only Apple will have problem with that, I guess the “Geek Squad” and “Firedog” should start lowering their fees is the Microsoft stores would offer FREE advice and support. Is asking help from the Genuis Bar free? I mean, I haven’t tried asking those guys (Windows user here), so I don’t really know.

  3. People come into to Apple stores to learn about new products and see something new and cool. It’s Apple’s cool factor that Microsoft lacks. I’d be a gamble that could even accel there decline. The Surface is there dark horse so we could see something come of that.

  4. I have thought Microsoft should be doing this for a long time, Apple’s cool factor is completely fake IMO- they are’t cool, they’re stil nerds they’re just self-righteous telling people they’re innovating… which they occasionally do but more often than not avoid.

    Microsoft should have these stores showcasing the digital lifestyle I enjoy on a daily basis on a student budget-
    - Tablet PC (so many people love mine and have never heard of them)
    - Media Center (if not only to get more attention from TV companies)
    - Devices connecting to Windows Live (e.g. Samsung wireless photo frame)
    - Xbox 360 & Zune

    With all that variety I can’t see why people like Apple stores.

  5. Undoubtedly, they’ll be a success and MS marketshare (of their failing products) will increase. ;)

  6. I’d hope they’d roll this out to the UK as soon as possible too. This could be a way for M$ to seem more in touch with consumers – and after all whatever you say about their software their hardware is always top notch. It would be good to get some exposure for the Zune over here too – I’m not even sure anywhere sells them and if they do its been as successful as a wooden parachute.

  7. Omar Upegui wrote:
    There are some “Ifs” to consider though.  If the decoration is right, if Customer Service is friendly and if the Marketing Plan is adequately designed, then Apple has to run for its money.

     Good point, Ashley.

    You are right, there are so many ifs, but they have an opportunity here to do it right and potentially do well with it.

    arjay wrote:
    Then they’ll be using Surfaces in the stores they open up. That’d be fun! ;)

    I guess Microsoft has a big chance if they do play it right. Not only Apple will have problem with that, I guess the “Geek Squad” and “Firedog” should start lowering their fees is the Microsoft stores would offer FREE advice and support. Is asking help from the Genuis Bar free? I mean, I haven’t tried asking those guys (Windows user here), so I don’t really know.

    Come to think of it, Surfaces would be pretty cool to see in-store. As for your question about the Genius Bar, I believe they do offer free services as well as paid. Don’t quote me on that though. When I bought my iPhone and it didn’t work, I took it back and sat at the Genious Bar waiting for them to replace it. I watched several people come in and get help with their computers and leave without paying a penny.

    northerngeek wrote:

    Microsoft should have these stores showcasing the digital lifestyle I enjoy on a daily basis on a student budget-
    - Tablet PC (so many people love mine and have never heard of them)
    - Media Center (if not only to get more attention from TV companies)
    - Devices connecting to Windows Live (e.g. Samsung wireless photo frame)
    - Xbox 360 & Zune

    With all that variety I can’t see why people like Apple stores.

    You make a good point, there are all kinds of devices, services, and software that Microsoft could showcase at a brick and mortar store. It’s almost surprising that they didn’t think to open retail stores sooner.

    Inferno_str1ke wrote:
    I’d hope they’d roll this out to the UK as soon as possible too. This could be a way for M$ to seem more in touch with consumers – and after all whatever you say about their software their hardware is always top notch. It would be good to get some exposure for the Zune over here too – I’m not even sure anywhere sells them and if they do its been as successful as a wooden parachute.

    You make a good point here, that this might help Microsoft to be more in touch with consumers. At this point they do seem a little out of touch with consumers in some aspects, and a store with real “live” Microsoft employees might help.

  8. Does anyone else ever just get tires of being marketed to?

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