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Celebrate Your Next Birthday At the Microsoft Store 301

theodp writes "Chuck E. Cheese, meet Bill H. Gates. A leaked PowerPoint posted at Gizmodo provides a glimpse of what Microsoft's retail shops may look like, noting that you'll even be able to pay to celebrate your birthday there. Some of the stores that were profiled for ideas were Nike, Nokia, Sony, Apple, and AT&T. Microsoft's take on the Genius Bar is the Answers Bar (aka Guru Bar, Windows Bar)."
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Celebrate Your Next Birthday At the Microsoft Store

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  • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @10:49PM (#28823775) Homepage Journal

    'Cause I'd really like to throw a chair at a Google logo.

    • by derGoldstein ( 1494129 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @12:26AM (#28824291) Homepage

      1) ...and there was a breeze because all the windows crashed!

      2) ...and I felt kinda blue, because of all the BSODs flashing!

      3) ...and through the windows you could see a great Vista!

      4) ...and at the bar you can order using the Start Menu!

      5) ...and the place was entirely wet because of all the squirting!

      6) ...and all of the employees were carrying Notepads!

      7) ...and if you're tired you can take a nap, or sleep, or hibernate!

      8) ...and the clerk didn't know what I meant, so he said "Bad command or file name"!


    • Came here to say "does it have a stress-relief area where you can throw chairs around" but you beat me to it.

      Instead I'll say, "Is it just me or do the 3D graphics in those slides look like they were done using a Google product?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by db32 ( 862117 )

      I just want to bring a MacBook to their "Answer Bar" and ask "I can't seem to find the Windows key on this keyboard."

      Why does it seem that the MS core business strategy is to copy whatever Apple is doing. It was the birth of Windows...and they continue to this day with "Aero" and "Sideboard". Then they broke out of just copying the OS and started pushing the Zune. Now they want to copy the stores too? I guess if anyone really wants to know what the next MS "innovation" will just look at what Apple is su

  • Will i be able to bake my own copy of Windows there?

    • No, however they do provide free lube.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jonbryce ( 703250 )

      No, but you do get to choose between Windows Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional , Enterprise, Ultimate, Server Standard, Server Standard without Hyper-V, Enterprise Server, Enterprise Server without Hyper-v, Data Centre, Data Centre without Hyper-V, HPC Server, Foundation Server, Web Server, Small Business Server, Small Business Server Premium, Essential Business Server, Essential Business Server Premium, Embedded, Mobile or Smartphone.

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @10:54PM (#28823827)

    Forged of eight Geniuses. []

  • Bday! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @10:55PM (#28823829) Homepage Journal

    "...noting that you'll even be able to pay to celebrate your birthday there."

    Will it include, complementary, one or two members of the Vista dev team that decided to break the reasonably good UI in Windows XP? Or one of the Office guys that thought getting rid of menus would be a great idea?

    Because then I'd pay to have my birthday party there.

    Oh, yes.

  • Will the MS~Store's business go through the roof at the beginning of the month?
  • Personalization (Score:5, Insightful)

    by intx13 ( 808988 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:07PM (#28823915) Homepage
    I think Microsoft's new campaign of "personalization" is worthwhile, especially as a way to counter the "hipness" of Apple. With Apple you get popularity, but there's no uniqueness. Microsoft gave up on popularity, hipness after the failed Bill Gates/Seinfeld "quirky" commercials. Uniqueness and customization is a good strategy, I think. The "I'm a PC" commercials pushed it and the stores, as per the article, are making it a big focus.

    I don't really have any need to buy Microsoft products, but it's certainly interesting. It's new at least, and I think it has a shot at succeeding. Plus, having real people to talk to is a step towards making it easier to use a valid, purchased product than a pirated product, which is step 1 in fighting piracy (the real way).
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      If the Zune runs Linux and lets me use open BT wifi on the move, I will get one. :)
      If its a sealed "Apple" like unit, I will wait and keep looking :)
    • I think this is spot on.

      If the Microsoft store concept, when fully realized, ends up mimicing the Apple store concept as much as some of the preliminary stuff makes it seem, I have to think that's going to end in failure. Yeah, you can push the 'cool factor' of things like the XBox, but Microsoft just doesn't have (and I don't think will ever have in the foreseeable future) the kind of cult-mindset cool factor that Apple has. I know guys who work retail in Apple stores and essentially are taking a huge pa

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

      I don't really have any need to buy Microsoft products

      Problem is: Nobody does.

      but it's certainly interesting.

      And here is where it gets funny:
      They will have everybody looking. But nobody buying. Wondering why.
      "Why does our hipness not work? Aren't we so cool? What has Apple, what we don't have?"
      It's of course, because they are just imitators instead of innovators. Which also happens to be exactly why they will not figure that one out.

      Quite funny, isn't it? ^^

      P.S.: Who wants to form a flash mob at their first store? (Tell all your friends.) We will gather shortly before closing time. Filli

  • 2 Things: (Score:5, Funny)

    by SilverHatHacker ( 1381259 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:07PM (#28823919)
    a) How much will a birthday party cost? I'm thinking:
    • ~$250 for the party (If you're 'upgrading' from last year's party, it's only $130)
    • For an extra $50, you can get "special features" which they will eventually be rolled out...we promise :)
    • $45 dollars for a cake, which can be eaten by a maximum of 3 people. If you want more people to eat it, you have to buy another 'cake-eating license'
    • A complimentary grab-bag of malware for every guest

    b) I wonder if they'd object if I stood outside and handed out Ubuntu CD's?

  • Last time I checked, the only Sony store I know of, across from the Moscone Center in San Francisco, closed. Can we persuade MS to take their lead?


    • While Sony isn't very popular on slashdot for obvious reasons, they have some kind of rock solid customer base who keeps buying/upgrading their products.

      Used (in fact, restored) a Sony Vaio high end laptop for 2 days, I ended up telling its owner "This thing tries to be Apple but the operating system (Windows) kills the experience". I mean they are really unique in terms of EFI etc.

      MS is a general operating system vendor. There is no "Vista Air" to show there.

      I can tell what they should stock. Input Devices

    • by frankmu ( 68782 )
      Does anyone remember the Microsoft store at the Metreon? It was set up like those temporary holiday sausage stores you see in the mall around christmas time. I couldn't figure it out then either (Microsoft, not the summer sausages)
    • by RobNich ( 85522 )
      The Sony store in Valley Fair mall was still open when I last saw it in October last year. According to the mall website [], it's still there.
  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:09PM (#28823935)
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday dear
    Technical information: *** STOP: 0x00000050 (0x8872A990, 0x00000001, 0x804F35D7, 0x00000000)
    *** ati3diag.dll - Address ED80AC55 base at ED88F000, Date Stamp 3dcb24d0
  • by PrimaryConsult ( 1546585 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:13PM (#28823947)
    the Task Bar.
  • by binaryspiral ( 784263 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:18PM (#28823971)

    At least Chuck E. Cheese lets the parents get a pitcher to ease the pain of the entire experience.

    Microsoft better do the same.

  • What's sad about Microsoft is that they've long stopped innovating... if they ever did.

    The Microsoft Store is a ripoff of the Apple Store.
    The Zune is a ripoff of the iPod (or a turd... I'm not sure).
    Bing and Live before is a ripoff of Google.

    They don't create anything any more. They just copy others and wonder why it doesn't work. (Indeed copying others and doing enough versions seemed to work for them. It just doesn't work any longer.)

    Even Windows is a ripoff of Windows, and since XP that's been on a downw

  • Normally to decide what to eat you would select stuff from a menu. Given the Vista and Windows 7 experience, will it be present but requiring you to do an easter hunt to find it?

  • oh noes. (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:29PM (#28824021)

    "I see that you're trying to celebrate a birthday. Would you like help with tha--aARAGGGHHH!"

    Another satisfied customer discovers the joy of killing Clippy for his/her birthday.

  • Is Microsoft ever lamer than they are when they're badly imitating someone else's success? They can throw as much money as they want at this idea, but the gig is essentially up for The Bill ... everyone sees Microsoft as the big, monolithic, boring company that's associated with things like spreadsheet drudgery at the office at best, or slow, buggy, crashing computers at worst. They're not hip and trendy like Apple; they're not grassroots like Linux and Open Source; they're not even gee-whiz cutting edge
  • Highly Imaginitive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:43PM (#28824083)

    Dear God in heaven, have these guys *ever* had an original thought? I mean an original though that was good, of course.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

      Yeah. Bill Gates had. Back in the early days. It was: Let's "take" the ideas of others, sell them "so good" that the inventors die, and get rich as hell.

      And can you deny that it was one of the best business models anyone ever had? (When you look at his bank account.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Quothz ( 683368 )

      Dear God in heaven, have these guys *ever* had an original thought?

      Yes [].

      I mean an original though that was good, of course.

      Oh. Er, not in some while. The office application suite was a pretty nifty idea, for example. Um... hrm... Active directory? I think that was original, and it was damned nice. There's been some other stuff, I'm sure, especially if you allow for somewhat trivial things, like Bing's video preview.*

      *Which may not've been original; I dunno. But stuff like it, if it wasn't.

  • My parents took me and some friends to Six Flags on my birthday and we rode roller coasters and ate junk food and blasted each other with water cannons and laughed ourselves silly. But if only there had been a Microsoft Store in my day...

    Clearly I was born two decades too early. I feel gypped. Today's kids have no idea how lucky they are.
  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Sunday July 26, 2009 @12:04AM (#28824195)

    Windows 7? Office? and some mice/keyboards?

    I don't understand the point? Is there any big product line I am missing, that people actually buy?

    As far as I understand it, MS lives from big corporate mass-license sales for Windows and Office. And everything other is pretty much irrelevant.

    Sounds to me like the Zune of stores. Something that really nobody cares about, because it's just a knockoff saying "I wanna be just as cool as Apple" (note the "wanna", which is not a "am", and the "just as" which is not a "more" :).

    I wonder when Microsoft will stop imitating and start innovating. And I guess: Only when they are forced to. ;)

    • by Crash Culligan ( 227354 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @12:27AM (#28824301) Journal

      At the time, analysts pooh-poohed the idea of Apple's retail stores originally, too. The retail space was glutted with computers, Apple already had a relationship with CompUSA which was best described as "passive-aggressive," and Gateway's retail concept was defecating the bed. Opening a retail store was the silliest thing they could have done, except it worked for them. They weren't just marketing hardware and software, what they were doing was cashing in on the brand's exclusivity, by creating a boutique space where people could interact with the hardware and ask questions about it.

      The problem with Microsoft's concept is that they don't have the same culture to sell. Apple has a niche (albeit a very deep niche) market which supports the notion of exclusiveness (which anyone can conveniently buy into). Microsoft doesn't have that kind of exclusiveness (unless you're talking about excluding people who are using previous versions of their OS on older hardware). What Microsoft will instead find they're selling is ubiquity, and not even a nice sort of ubiquity either. It's more of a fetid, horrid inevitability, not so much like death as spending the holiday with in-laws.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dzfoo ( 772245 )

        There's a difference in trends. Analysts derided Apple's retail stores originally, too, but so did they for the iPod, iPhone, MacBook, iTunes Music Store, and other Apple products or services, which eventually grew to be exactly what the market wanted and very popular indeed.

        Microsoft, on the other hand, has been praised effusively by analysts every time they come up with a new product or service, or enter a new market to which they are not familiar; be it their Zune, Table PCs, Songsmith, Plays4Shure, the

    • by shmlco ( 594907 )

      I'm not sure MS would want to do this, you understand, but there's nothing really stopping them from offering "Geek Squad" paid services.

      If Best Buy can service Dells, HPs, and Acers, MS ought to be able to hire the same kind of techs to do those services. Could be some decent revenue in it too, charging you extra to clean your machine of the viruses and other malware Windows let take up residence.

      Sort of like charging you extra for MS AV/Firewall software that it shouldn't need in the first place...

      • Could be some decent revenue in it too, charging you extra to clean your machine of the viruses and other malware Windows let take up residence.

        And how long do you think that would go on before somebody charged them with creating security holes that only their own techs could plug?

        I don't know about anybody else, but the first thing that crossed my mind when I read your post was "conflict of interest."

    • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @12:55AM (#28824437) Homepage Journal
      This was my thinking. Apple stores were opened to solve specific problems. There was almost no retail space dedicated to Apple products. Apple had no face to face support for their products,and no easy way to fix products. Apple had no way to show how products were integrated or train the SOHO user or consumer. The apple store solved these problems.

      What problem is MS trying to solve? The lack of coolness. As the old IBM showed so well, there is no profit to being cool on the back end. Just efficient. Unlike Apple, any MS store will compete with the other retail outlets. The best thing to have such stores will be xBox items and the like, which will compete with other stores. Perhaps they will have computers there as well, but how to choose the makes and models. Seems like if they have Compaq and HP, then everyone else will file a suite.

      Honestly, it seems like it wold be better to offer any retailer the ability to build a MS support center in existing retail space. Like the current I'm a PC commercials, the entire venture seems to be desperate money spent for no apparent reason. Make the OS work. Lower prices. Get out the next xBox. This is what the people wnat.

  • Microsoft is not stupid. They have absolutely no reason to make "stores". You can find Microsoft stuff at every single computer store in the world. Apple had to make stores to compete. Microsoft is PAID to get their produce put into those stores, they have no overhead or staff salarlies to expense.

    Also if it does not sell computers then it hardly is competing with an Apple store. And if it does, some OEM's are going to be REALLY mad if they are not included. Though they could maybe have EVERY SINGLE OEM BRA

  • I have to wonder how many of the wall screens will be displaying BSOD or some other fatal error at any one time. You see it often at airports. Even our NOC center master display is showing a "fatal error" box three or four times a week.

    On the other hand, people may be so used to it, they may not even notice.

  • Mid-Life Crisis? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mindbrane ( 1548037 )
    Not long ago a story ran describing a long term debt offering by MS. The story was noteworthy because it stated MS had never offered long term debt instruments. Old school investment theory, as I remember it, would characterize an MS offering of long term debt instruments as one sign of a mature company. It may be the MS brain trust sees it's revenue flattening out and wants to lock in some long term money. Moving into bricks and mortar is another story, although if they see their revenue base flattening or
  • Didn't they go bankrupt very soon, within just a few years of opening all those stores?

    Rofl. MS is on the way out, eh?

  • by carlzum ( 832868 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @02:05AM (#28824721)
    At first, the thought of bored 6 year-olds choosing laptop options made me laugh. But then I thought about the Xbox.

    When I was a kid, a party at Chuck E Cheese was like an orgy of endless video games. Today, they have a handful of old arcade cabinets and some carnival games for crappy prizes. I've been dragged there for a few birthday parties with my kids. While the 5-8 year-olds have a great time with the ball-pits and singing robots, the teens and pre-teens look like they're in hell.

    A room full of 360s with wall-sized displays and high-end audio, Madden and Halo competitions for games and accessories, all you can eat pizza; it sounds like a dream come true for tween boys. Your kid could fill out a wish list of games for gifts and grab bags would have credits for the Live store. It sounds like a great idea to me.
  • by Aokisensei ( 1605857 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:41AM (#28825537)
    GNU Store party - You need to bring an equal amount of cake and party favors for everyone (but triple portions for RMS, who comes and sings the Free Software Song for you and a collection of Spanish-language folk songs). Gifts can only be exchanged if you agree to re-gift on the same terms by which you received the gift yourself.

    Gentoo Linux Store party - You arrive at the site where the store should be, and get handed a box of tools and building materials. You miss your party and spend the next year building the store by hand with your party guests, only to find out you don't have compatible windows, doors, or toilets. The store staff assures you these are under development and should be buildable by your next birthday party.

    OpenBSD Store party - You drive to the store, and security doesn't let you in.

    Ubuntu Linux Store party - You arrive and are welcomed by lavishly decorated and friendly African tribesmen. The staff of the Debian store across the street glares the entire time, disgustedly.

    ReactOS Store party - It looks similar to the Microsoft Store party, but comes with all the "perks" of the GNU Store party.

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.