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