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Microsoft Businesses

First MS Retail Stores Will be In Scottsdale, AZ and Mission Viejo, CA 189

Posted by timothy
from the probably-good-swag-on-day-1 dept.
UnknowingFool writes "MS has announced the locations of its first two retail stores. The first one will be located at The Shops in Mission Viejo, CA sometime in the fall. There is an existing Apple store at the location. The second one will be located in Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, AZ. That location does not have an Apple store. According to Corporate Communications Director Kim Stocks, the locations were picked because they were 'hot markets,' presumably meaning high traffic. Also, the stores will sell laptops, Zunes, Xbox 360s, MS and 3rd party software. No details on which laptops were provided."
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First MS Retail Stores Will be In Scottsdale, AZ and Mission Viejo, CA

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  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @02:37PM (#28871823) Journal

    Working at the Microsoft store in a mall where there's an Apple store would be a painful experience.

    -jcr

  • Well... Yeah... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @02:48PM (#28872041) Journal

    "Also the stores will sell laptops, Zunes, Xbox 360s, MS and 3rd party software."

    I would hope that if theres ANY place I could find Microsoft Software, it'd be at a microsoft store. Not that I'd go looking anyways.

    Its funny that they would open 2 locations to start, one with an Apple store nearby and one without - I would love to see the stats a month or two in. I'm curious if it'll make a difference.

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @02:50PM (#28872063) Journal

    Hey guys! You know that software vendor, you know, the one that you send really, really REALLY big checks to every weeK? You know, for license fees?

    Well guess what? They're taking all that money you are sending them, and using it to build a private chain store in order to cut you out of the equation! Really makes you feelg good about that six-figure WEEKLY check you send them, doesn't it?

    This is probably the DUMBEST possible move that MS could make - after 30 years of selling only through 3rd parties, setting up a 'bricks & mortar' chain while trends are to go virtual, while simultaneously pissing off their huge, multi-billion dollar partners... stupidity at its finest!

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @02:53PM (#28872125) Journal
    I'd assume that MS has little interest in trying to compete with their existing (and already hugely effective) low-margin/low-end product sales channels. There are already numerous outfits moving cheap wintels by the palletload, an unsexy job, but one that requires considerable logistical skill.

    Where MS's existing sales channels are making very little headway, comparatively speaking, is the high end. These numbers [arstechnica.com] suggest that just over 90% of computers that sold for over $1,000 were macs. That is pretty grim news for MS. Targeting wealthy areas, with retail stores designed to improve brand image, is presumably an attempt to counter that, not move more generic wintels, something that already happens without intervention.
  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @02:57PM (#28872185)

    I mean, the right to be smug isn't even worth $1 an hour to me.

    They pay about the same; technically, the Apple smug allowance is conveyed as a health benefit.

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @03:02PM (#28872291)

    What do you mean, you mean the employees who are specifically there to field those requests?

    Last week, a document surfaced online showing concept sketches for a Microsoft store where people can order personalized laptops, take classes and get help from experts.

  • by sprag (38460) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @03:07PM (#28872409)

    Its yet another club that MS can use against the OEMs.

    Don't like what MS demands for the desktop? Oops, I guess we can't sell your laptops in the stores anymore.

    Promise to ditch linux? Yeah, we can make space for your wares in the stores.

    This isn't good news for vendors no matter how you slice it.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @03:28PM (#28872791)

    See the flaw?

    Yeah, Dell lost a $5000 high-roller customer that probably bought an manufacturer warranty and will buy branded software and peripherals.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @03:32PM (#28872873)

    Gateway isn't dead, they have just become tiny and are now sold through big box stores as they should have done long ago.

    The Gateway stores always did baffle me (I was employed at one for a couple years). The other pc mfg's were supported by big box stores, who paid the rent/employees/utilities/inventory/etc. Apple can get away with it at the moment because of their specialty products that the masses care about. I think without the ipod/iphone revolution, Apple stores would become extinct in no time. Microsoft is not a sexy brand though, and nobody is lusting over the new version of Office enough to go drool over it on display at a mall.

    Microsoft has become the bandwagon company. They aren't innovating, only trying to snap up parts of markets that their competitors were first to and have better products on. Bing and Zune being the most obvious examples.

    If Microsoft wants to become top dog at something, they should try setting the mark instead of chasing it.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @03:38PM (#28873007)

    If I sell 10 $1000 laptops for every $3000 MBP you sell, well, I've trumped you in both revenue and volume.

    Yes, but you have to do that, and no retail outlet has ever done that, because you pulled those performance figures out of yer butt. We've been through this before with the Gateway and SonySTYLE stores... the thing that sets the Apple stores apart is the on-site customer service operation/"Genius Bar", the good curb appeal and browser-friendly experience, and the relatively well-informed staff. The MS stores could do as well if they incorporate those things, but considering they computer hardware they sell isn't sold for premium prices, they'll never see the revenue or profits.

    Who cares if you only sold one computer, if the other guy has to sell five in order to match your profit? The market share war is over, and Microsoft won. They now rule the world of cheap, poorly-supported computers.

  • by bigtrike (904535) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @03:40PM (#28873045)

    One of the worst problems with the Gateway stores is that they couldn't fix your computer, they could only ship it to be fixed, even if it just needed a disk swapped. One of the best features of the Apple store is that you can have your hardware fixed relatively quickly. If they're out of the part, you might have to get it the next day.

    If MS can't fix any of the hardware they sell on site, even if it's from another vendor, it's going to hurt their reputation and make people hate the stores.

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @03:57PM (#28873351)

    Will they have a genius bar? If my Aunt Click-on-everything has messed up her computer, can I simply point her to the Microsoft Store store and expect them to fix it for free?

    Doesn't matter if you can because everyone automatically will. First, because Apple has trained people to expect the kind of service. The last thing MS wants to do is get a reputation for saying that it's the other guys that take care of their customers.

    Second, there will finally be a live face for Microsoft. This is huge and I don't think MS realizes how this is going to play out. As someone who has sold computers and has a lot of experience with hardware support, the eternal refrain in every box store employee in the world when clueless customers come back four months later with screwed up software is "I'm sorry, that's a Windows problem, there's nothing we can do". Now there is actually a face for Windows. There will be physical stores where poor unsuspecting sales people will be forced to address every software problem that can happen on a windows box, regardless of if it is actually caused by anything MS is responsible for.

    See, the backfire to MS's ubiquity is that for a LOT of people (and a majority of those that will be prone to software problems) equate the the computer with Windows. Their computer IS windows and everything that happens on it is Windows. So if something is wrong is is a Windows problem. And now every box store employee that doesn't want to spend time troubleshooting another screwed up system has somewhere to point the customers. And once people have been told that their hardware is fine but Windows is broken the employees at the MS store are NEVER getting rid of them.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @04:02PM (#28873457)

    You are probably right, there's some correlation but not much. Apple might not actually move as many units as a Microsoft store... they'll just have to find consolation in the fact they run a much more profitable retail operation. It's hard to see how MS could possibly extract better profits considering the material they're selling.

    ". Revenue per sq/ft is really only a measure of rental/lease costs on a property, and has very little to do with retail success.

    I dunno, since rent is the primary and distinguishing cost factor for a retail operation, it seems like performance per square foot would be a key metric, all other things being equal. "Retail success" is a sorta floppy term, and I'd contend that whatever it is, it doesn't have anything to do with unit sales.

  • Re:Anyone Going? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @04:24PM (#28873841) Homepage

    Consider: it's a store with gigantic screens and a huge number of Xboxen....

  • If they were to open in Silicon Valley, they'd have to close within a week's time.

  • by Locutus (9039) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @07:54PM (#28876207)
    an Apple store is not and iPod store. But, given the iPod's fame and market penetration, it would be nuts for Walmart not to sell iPods also but I would doubt they sell as many of the $250+ models as an Apple store but probably sell much more of the ~$100 shuffle and lowend iPods.

    My point was about the Apple "store" and in general Apple products tend to be high end and stylish at a higher price. Microsoft, in general is about low end, kinda works, products and so it goes with the Microsoft "store". Sure, Microsoft will show a MS Surface device in every store but come on, is that where you'd go to buy one? It's just a marketing gimmick and so will most of the expensive hardware there. Even the Microsoft ads sell them as the low price company.

    They'll do better near Walmart and away from Apple stores. But, they've got the money to dump on yet another money losing venture.

    LoB

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