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Microsoft Teaming up with RadioShack 259

ViceClown writes "Microsoft is teaming up with RadioShack in a sweeping 5 year deal to set up Microsoft 'stores' inside RadioShack brick and morter shops. Customers will be able to view demonstrations and sign up for MSN internet access. "
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Microsoft Teaming up with RadioShack

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  • Another one bites the dust
  • Has anyone else noticed how MSNBC gets to Microsoft stories first? (this is a very small example)
    I remember back when MSNBC launched there was alot of assurance of Microsoft Corp having 0 involvement in it newswise...
  • Don't get too misty eyed. RadioShack and Microsoft have been in bed before (Bill has only ever personally appeared in one series of ads ... for Tandy PCs back in 1983-4). The Sh*tShack will still be a good place to get resistors and stuff, but now you'll have to wade past the stacks of RC cars *and* (ick) Microsloth Products(tm).

    So it goes.
  • by dlew ( 20967 )
    RadioCrud must be hurting to pull this loser move.
    Then again, who shops there? Most people I know order parts online or go to other electronic stores. Most RadioShack employees are clueless beings.
  • by rde ( 17364 )
    The Register mentioned [] this as well.
    It mentions that MS are investing $100Million in Radio Shack's web site. Surely some mistake?
  • Now yopu can pick up some shoddy, over-priced software along with your shoddy, over-priced hardware.(*)

    *Example, I got a package of 4 telephone wire spicers at Radio Shack for about $2.00. The next day I got a package of 25 for about the same price at Home Depot.
  • Every time i buy something at RadioShack, they make me tell them my name on phone number. Microsoft seems to support the same general idea, expecially with this new Windows 2000 pricing scheme of theirs.
  •, for me, mostly a source of 5.25" DSDD floppies, which are getting blooming hard to find. Just hope the stock holds out for a few more years.
  • by davidu ( 18 ) on Thursday November 11, 1999 @01:27PM (#1540904) Homepage Journal
    This is the best news ever!
    Here are two reasons:

    1) It have wished and wished for an R/C Car that had a 'start' button. Maybe it will even shutdown and require a reboot every two laps.

    2) I always hate being able to go to a store that has all the cool electronic bits and peices I want but never carries a good copy of "learning Win98." I mean, who in their right mind solders breadboard chips and circuits without their trusty Win98 for dummies books?

  • Clearly Microsoft views Radio Shack as a competitor and by putting their mini-stores inside Radio Shacks the world over, they will attempt to drive Radio Shack out of business via negative association. Can we get Microsoft to open stores inside of Starbucks cafés?

    --- Dirtside
  • by mr ( 88570 ) on Thursday November 11, 1999 @01:28PM (#1540906)
    Lets see:
    Spyglass was to share the profits from the sale of Internet Explorer.
    Digital was to benefit from NT. (Oh, and NT was going to be VMS done right.)
    Sybase was going to benefit from its SQL partnership with M$.
    Microfocus was offered a deal. M$ was to take 10% of its cash across the whole product line so Microsoft would keep selling its COBOL product.

    Microsoft has a history of leaving its partners in worse shape than before they started.

    Now, I'm waiting for Radio Shack to get the short sticky brown end of the stick. Cuz thats the end most EVERYONE else has gotten.
  • Obsolete? About the worst I've seen from them is the compaq crap they peddle now, since IBM pulled out.

    They do have this strange ability to have that ONE really odd part that you must have. Radio Shack has saved many an ass at any time (At least, the ones that have that big wall of electronic components).
  • This is a good thing for Microsoft to do. Creating partnerships is a good way to benefit from the markets that the other company has.

    Hopefully Radio Shack did this out of their own will and because Microsoft told them that if they didn't Radio Shack would be out of business in 3 years. Microsoft wouldn't violate anti-trust laws just after the Judge released the FoF documenting their transgressions in they past, would they?


  • As a former employee of Tandy, I can say that WITHOUT A DOUBT, this will fail.

    Tandy has a habit of blowing deals left and right. IBM sold their machines in RS, now IBM refuses to even let Tandy service those machines. Compaq has had much lower sales than expected in RS.

    The incredible universe (iu), McDuffs (md), Computer City (cc)... all BLOWN deals.. one every 3 years.

    RS market share is dwindling. MS just wasted 100M.. ohh well!


  • This is a good thing for Microsoft to do. Creating partnerships is a good way to benefit from the markets that the other company has.

    Hopefully Radio Shack did this out of their own will and *not* because Microsoft told them that if they didn't Radio Shack would be out of business in 3 years. Microsoft wouldn't violate anti-trust laws just after the Judge released the FoF documenting their transgressions in they past, would they?


  • Radio shack was gaining back some of its credibility by changing and improving its image and the quality of their products. For many of us, it is the only electronic component source in our area. Now they are headed down that long road to desolation at the hands of Micro$oft and their strip mining techniques.
  • So, the market leader of crappy components and the fabulous Tandy (TM) mark of excellence joins forces with Microsoft, world renound for bloated, crash happy software. Awsome!, sounds perfect to me. Maybe they would like to put the whole thing inside of a Dennys and throw that into a Wal-Mart or something. I'm glad I live 20 minutes from Frys...

  • Make that "splicers".

    Also, does this mean that the RadioHack clerks will now ask for your email address too, so M$FT can send you junk email catalogs?
  • Shall we be seeing a big "MICROSOFT" next to Radio Shack now?

  • Usually I would agree with you that something is going on but I seem to recall MSNBC getting the big anti-MS stories first and not putting on the kid gloves at all. I'm sure they wouldn't report about really bad stuff first, but then again none of the network news entities would report about bad news for the parent corps so they're not alone.

    On a slightly related note, did anybody watch the "Smoke in the Eye" Frontline episode a couple of weeks ago? It was a pretty damming account of the Big Tobacco vs. CBS debacle. It showed pretty plainly that the 60 Minutes/CBS lawyers didn't want to report a bad story about the tobacco industry so CBS wouldn't have a huge lawsuit in it's books when the higher ups were trying to sell it to Westinghouse. An excellent example of what can/does happen when giant corps own the conduits of the news.
  • Great now Radio Shacks shit will be even more overpriced and even shittier!
  • Heh, I can't wait to get this in my mailbox:

    Build Your Own Cable Descrambler and Windows Stablizer!

    ....For only 19.95 we will send you instructions that will tell you how to get hundreds of cable channels for free using parts obtained from any Radio Shack. New developments in the software world now make it possible for the same device to make your Windows computer run better than ever!! No more running all over town, get it all in one place!.....


    -Common sense isn't.
  • OK, here I am going to guess what all the comments on this topic are First the normal /. comments...
    • FIRST POST!!!
    • Micro$oft sucks
    • Ha, Linux is better
    Then the comments likely to be caused by this particular topic...
    • The Whores!!! I'll never shop there again
    • Ha! the place was overpriced anyway!
    OK then, unless you have something other than these comments, try to make it amusing...
  • Wow, now hopefully they'll suffer the same fate as Tandy or any other P.O.S. computer stuff there.
  • Perhaps part of the point of this bit of news is to assure the flock out there that the FoF will not impact MS's activities. All is normal.

    Right ?

    I wonder why MS simply doesn't set up an online store for all their software ? It isn't like stores will stop carrying MS product if they do. MS could catch some of that margin for themselves. Like they need the money.

    Well, if Win 2000 is as crappy as the RC2 indicates it might be, then they may actually need every penny they can scrape up.

    Win 2000's DNS server managed to destroy all the domain records on my intranet (Linux 2.2.5 Bind 4) when I started it...that was a neat trick. I know everyone on the Internet will want that feature. It is time to upgrade to BIND 8 people. Worse Win 2000 Server didn't give me the option NOT to install its DNS Manager. Win 2000RC2 also uses 30% more RAM on my system immediately after a system startup. (104MB with 2000RC2, 68MB on NT4 same hardware.)

    Oops, this turned into an anti-Windows rant...sorry. Then again Win2K deserves it more than any Windows to-date. Beta or otherwise

  • When's RedHat, or ANYBODY involved with Linux, going to do the demonstration part????

    That's the way buying computers used to work. You tried the Apple IIe, the Atari 800, and the Commodore 64 in your local department store, then picked the one you liked best.

    Currently, consumers think they have no choice, Linux or no Linux, because they can't play with Linux in the store. If they could, then they could make an informed decision. Right now they have to go by the reviews on the Internet, which just isn't the same IMHO as actually getting down and trying the OS.

    Now that all Intel instruction set based computers need not be the same, I think it's important to find a way to get Linux machines set up on display in major computer stores to help boost its growth even more.
  • Companies that have relied on agreement with Microsoft winding up getting screwed: Apple, IBM, SCO, H-P.

    Radio shack is a retail outlet and might be a perfect host for Microsoft. Why would the software giant kill such a lucrative host that can push its warez? Radio Shack may be a poor place to buy parts (or anything else!) but they cater to the public and push credit so they may buy. Christmas shoppers and gift looking people for birthdays, etc., often find their catalogs attractive and take advantage of Radio Shack's offerings.

    If you want electronics, there are many good places to find parts on the web. I'd rather take apart a television than go to the shack these days!
  • MSNBC's offices are on the Redmond Campus. Think about it: If MS holds a press conference all these guys have to do is walk across the street and they can get started on the story. Of course they are going to be first a lot of the time.

  • Who cares what Radio Shat, the worst hardware vendor on the planet, does with the worst software vendor?
  • by MillMan ( 85400 )
    So, two mediocre companies are teaming up together. I think I'm gunna go take a nap now.

    Seriously, why doesn't radio shack just die? Perhaps it's the same reason AOL is the biggest and most successful ISP? Oh well, it's not like anyone makes you go into radio shack while you're at the mall.
  • yeah... my first thought is that perhaps MS has an interest in msnbc reporting the "bad" stories about them first.
    think about it, if the story is reported by them first, then other news orgs will be less likely to make a big deal of it (since they weren't first), effectively giving MS an amazing ammount of spin control
  • This will make Radio Shack the national clearinghouse for outdated technology.

    You mean they weren't already? Sure, they've got stuff there that no one else has... because no one else will carry stuff as old...

  • ... but wasn't NT a joint venture between Microsoft and IBM? That's what I'd always thought, and that OS/2 was the other offspring of the project.
  • Microsoft already has an online store and has for sometime. Its at
  • (The story wouldn't load for me in Netscape ;)) Anyhoo, was MSNBC or Microsoft using the term "store-within-a-store"? Just wondering, since it seemed to me that Apple coined that term for selling computers in CompUSA. Lawsuit?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Microsoft signing a deal with a retail store chain is news? They sell stuff in Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and just about any other department or electronics store you can name. So they're in Radio Shack now too. BFD! What operating system did Radio Shack install on the computers they sold before now anyway? Linux? Don't think so.

    Sheesh. Might as well post "Coca-cola signs deal to put soda in every McDonalds," or "Hershey's puts candy bars in grocery store checkout lanes."

  • This turned out to be a big non event. It seems that the collective reaction has so far been: "So what?"

    There was a lot of hype yesterday in the mainstream news. Both CNET and CNN were reporting breathlessly that some really really really big announcement from MS will be forthcoming tomorrow. Even Yahoo ran a little blurb.

    It was going to be a major announcement about a mega-mega deal, I read yesterday, we promise.

    And the announcement is ... [drumroll] ... Microsoft is going to sell stuff in Radio Shack.


    That's the big announcement?

    By complete accident, I happen to find myself at earlier today (what a useless site, BTW). They had this splattered all over the home page. They had one of the fancy live webcast thingies going on.

    Really, I must be missing something, but I don't see what the big deal is. The reason that only MSNBC is reporting on this, and only now, is because nobody else really cared about it, once they found out what was the big announcement.

  • Mmmmm...a Trash-80 running windoze. Now _there's_ a product ;)
  • Go to thrift stores for 5 1/4's. Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Value Village. Most of them have tons and tons. Used, but so what, 90% will work. If you find one of the thrift stores that thinks floppies are worth a buck apiece, you'll have to keep looking....

  • I'm actually seriously concerned by the amount of Microsoft news coming out of MSNBC. Even more worrying is the number of sites (including /., though not nearly as much) that seem to believe that a link to MSNBC as a non-biased source. Sure, they've been pretty tough on Microsoft during this phase of the trials--but no more so than any other mass media has been.

    For the most part, the content of hard news is of little concern--most people are intelligent enough to notice if there were discrepancies between an MSNBC article and a similar article on the New York Times. The problem is the articles that they do print. Look at the MSNBC Slashdot response [] article. As was pointed out in an earlier news post on here, they took a few relatively meaningless quotes off of Slashdot and represented them as the ideas of an average Slashdot user. The result? Someone that reads the article thinks that the Slashdot community is a pretty inarticulate bunch--the average 'net user won't take the time to hunt through /. to find the article in question.

    This, of course, can be applied to any subject. A version of Netscape has a security flaw? You can bet they'll slap an article up. The fact that MSNBC posts a relatively harsh article on MS when every other site on the net is doing the same? Not surprising.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    sucks. Okay, maybe i can't back that up, but read their description of alkaline batteries... "All alkaline batteries come in Sizes AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, 6V Lantern, and button cell. They are also able to perform in both hot are subject to have a 5-year shelf life. Personal electronics in today's world tend and cold temperatures without a problem..."
  • Although this seems to make me an unusual Slashdotter, I actually liked Radio Shack. Yeah, their prices were often a bit high, but they had stuff I never managed to find anywhere else. Honestly, I challenge anyone here to give me the name of a store as widespread as RS that carries all the same stuff.

    Now, Microsoft's ripping Apple off yet again (this deal looks disturbingly similar to Apple's Stores-Within-A-Store at CompUSA, Fry's, and Micro Center). It'll be interesting to see how they do this one.
  • Anytime a store asks me for my phone number (and I really don't think that it's their business to know), I just give them my fax number. I've noticed that my fax rings a lot more now ;) Ouch to the ears of the telemarketers.... hee hee.

    If MS starts to make good revenue on this, they will eventually want more. That's how their apps started. They tested the waters of app developmenet, an found that they could make a lot more money there. So they use their business/marketing smarts to kill the competition and take over the market. You might see the same here, and RShack will take the brunt of it.

    Steven Rostedt
  • I'm glad I live 20 minutes from Frys...

    Hear hear!!!! Because we all know what excellent, knowledgeble salespeople work at Fry's!
    I'm glad I live 40 minutes from Fry's!
    ------------------------------------------ ----------------
  • So. The worst consumer electronics chain in the world (Radio Shack) is teaming with the company that makes the most bloated software in the world (Microsoft) running on the most bloated hardware in the world (Compaq).

    This is actually convenient. I can avoid everything at once.
  • The articles I've read seem to say they'll be signing people up for MSN, selling people WebTV units and so on... Not selling the usual software, books, etc.

    This is a pretty smart move. Selling Win98 in Radio Shack would probably not be a bit hit, but nowadays at least my local Radio Shacks are havens for clueless people who for some reason desperately need cell phones. Great audience for pushing the consumer connectivity stuff.
  • digikey ( is your best bet.
  • Wow- We all know who buys computers at Radio Shack, only the totally computer illiterate. Radio Shack targets low-income, uneducated people. Yeah, they're in malls, but they're always in poor neighborhoods, too. Until now, M$ has targetted the technically uneducated and the computer illiterate in their home products, that's where they make their bucks, and I guess that's fine. But now it's shifted to low-income. I hope in the long run it's a good thing, informative and all, but now folks can more easily shop for M$ products on their lottery ticket errands. So now you can buy a computer you don't have a use for on payments and sign up for MSN in the same store.... And with the new e-trade style add campaigns, the new vision statement of the internet is becoming... A SLOT MACHINE IN EVERY HOME! Now with porn! It's one low easy monthly payment, but you'll be rich soon, so don't worry... It makes sense, though, there are NO good deals at radioshack, and they never have more than 3 of the overpriced part I need ten of right then... And when I applied there in highschool they had an agreement that they have exclusive rights to all intellectual property of their employees, inventions, music, programs, writing, etc... Up to one year after termination of employment. The only really awesome thing they ever did was include schematics in their owners manuals, but I think they stopped... Damn... I'm fresh out of things to bitch about...
  • by substrate ( 2628 ) on Thursday November 11, 1999 @02:01PM (#1540956)
    I've got to wonder what the real angle on this is. What's the point of a "Microsoft store in a store"? It was a wise move for Apple, the alliance with CompUSA actually made software and hardware more available to a lot of people. In just about every store I've come across that sells software there's already a highly visible display unit with oodles of Microsoft software stacked up. So any market share they pick up will be miniscule (hard to get market share in the consumer arena when you're already at 98% or whatever) in exchange for 100 million dollars.

    From the miniscule press release it sounds like they're trying to sell MS wireless and internet access but how many computers does Radio Shack really sell? Radio Shack isn't exactly the first place most people run to for finding an ISP either.

    Microsoft doesn't usually make unwise marketing moves, so there's got to be an angle, I'm just not seeing it. Were there any other people trying to get their software or services in Radio Shack that Microsoft is effectively keeping out? Red Hat? Apple? AOL?
  • no you'd be a normal slashdotter if you liked Radio Shack for building your own radios from a kit
  • Yes it was. And MS took as much from IBM as they could. When IBM would need specs from MS, MS would delay the deliveries or give out dated ones. Then MS came out with NT as a cometitor of OS/2. This wasn't suppose to happen, so IBM thought. MS specifically made it so apps will work better on NT then on OS/2. This is one of the many reasons IBM doesn't like MS.
    Steven Rostedt
  • I guess if banks can pop up inside grocery stores
    than Microsoft can pop up inside of Radio shack.
    No big deal I guess. Anyone know if MS owns or has interest in Radio Shack?

  • The comment that tells you what all the other comments will be about.

    Steven Rostedt
  • ah man come on....why can't I flame once in a while like everyone else? :)

    alright alright....I suppose if I start out at 2 I should actually have something to say heh heh :)
  • You betcha. Radio Shack and MS -- they deserve one another. :)
  • Obviosly, they're made for each other.
  • This kind of thing has been tried before in the UK. Debenhams (a department store) hosted a shop (which I forget the name of now) to sell 8-bit micros. It didn't last too long. I think it either gets so successful that being limited by the host store is a pain or people take the view that if you want computer stuff, go to a computer shop. I think they ended up getting absorbed into the Dixons group (the computer place, not Debenhams)

    Of course, Microsoft is a completely different animal and Radio Shack is at least in the same ballpark of supply but I still don't think it's a really great idea. Maybe as a stepping-stone for Microsoft to open their own high-street stores, just test the water first?

    On an semi-related note, when I was younger, I heard a lot about how RadioShack(USA) was so cool with all this electronics stuff to buy. Their sister-chain here (Tandy) is pretty disappointing with electronics components stretching to audio cables, a few resistors and LEDs and some chips (that you would have to go to a proper component store to get the support components for anyway). As such, I was really looking forward to actually visiting a RadioShack in the States but to my dismay, it was almost just the same. Oh well, maybe it's just one more thing where I missed the window on when it was good (Like I hear that MTV was actually something to enjoy watching once upon a time)

    Oh well, at least now there's plenty of Maplins (though they've started to get a little to heavily into consumer electronics) and Frasers (a small shop in Portsmouth with excellent stock and prices)

    Erm, relevance? What's that?


  • Ok well this news makes me pretty pissed at Radio Shack, but where else can I go when I need parts? Are there any other widespread electronics store chains out there? I'd hate to have to go there now everytime I need some hard to find component.
  • Tell me about it.
    True story, from about ten years ago: an electrical engineering student buys a beautiful old vintage ('40's) radio and finds that it works fine except for the power indicator light bulb being burned out. Uncertain whether this particular model of light bulb is still being made, he measures the juice flowing through the socket (60V AC) and takes the bulb to the local Radio Shack, hoping he can just pick something up without having to mail order it (waiting several days and paying shipping for a $0.60 part being a pain in the neck). He asks the clueless clerk whether they stock a replacement bulb; the clerk can't find anything with that model number in their catalog, at which point the customer mentions that it had 60V AC going through it. "Oh, that explains it," says the clerk. "We only have DC light bulbs." The student goes back to the dorm and tells his roommate (me) this story. I fall over laughing.
  • by Capt Dan ( 70955 ) on Thursday November 11, 1999 @02:13PM (#1540969) Homepage
    I think the really interesting point is not that Microsoft and Radio Shack are teaming up and Microsoft will now be everywhere. It is this:

    "...found a home connectivity partner, offering not just services but innovative technologies as well. ... And customers gain end-to-end connectivity solutions from Microsoft and RadioShack -- brands Americans trust to make technology accessible and understandable."

    Where else in the country is there a place to go specifically for "home connectivity"? I know my house is connected, but I did that myself from hacking together DSS, Cable Modem and a nifty little p90 linux gateway. But what do you do when you're joe schmoe, and don't have the knowledge to do it yourself?

    Now the average guy may have somewhere to go to get it all in one package. Sprint, Microsoft, RCA, etc... One stop shopping for all the hardware and software to wire your home. All run by a simple Microsoft interface.

    This may actually be a good thing. Something my mother could do. What's easier to understand? This:
    1) install linux
    2) configure network scripts to run dhcpcd
    3) Setup dhcpd sever on eth1
    4) ipchains -q /z ^4;=)
    5) debug terminal
    6) and the list goes on...

    or this:
    1) push power
    2) push start button.
    3) Something bad happens, repeat.

    Us dorks might have Architecture issues with the system, but the average guy just wants it to work.

    "You want to kiss the sky? Better learn how to kneel." - U2
    "It was like trying to herd cats..." - Robert A. Heinlein
  • Has anyone else noticed how MSNBC gets to Microsoft stories first?

    I first noticed the story via my CNNfn Slashbox (the MS-phobic can, at least temporarily, peruse CNN's 12:10 Redmond-time take here [] -- there's no time stamp on the story, but surely they had no "world exclusive"). While I'd love to put MSNBC in the conspiracy-theory in-box, I'm pretty sure this story (actually a Waggener Edstrom press release []) reached every organization at roughly the same time.


  • I was always confused about their choice of words.
    SHACK, after all, evokes imagery of a crappy,
    run-down, outhouse type of thing. Well, it's
    appropriate but not a very strategic marketing move.

    I think Microsoft should change their name
    to reflect the partnership. Junk-ass-stuff, or
    Dubious-Morals-Software, Inc. Something like that.
    ------------------------------------------- ---------------
  • by / ( 33804 )
    You can find out more here [], where you might then follow to this place over here []. The whole idea of trademarking and imbuing goodwill into a word like "shack" is ludicrous.
  • That should read:

    3) If something bad happens then repeat.

    I do not mean to imply that something bad *would* happen each time the box was turned on. =)

    "You want to kiss the sky? Better learn how to kneel." - U2
    "It was like trying to herd cats..." - Robert A. Heinlein
  • Unfortunately, I live a state away from Frys now, and a street away from Radio Shack. Haven't really intensely needed good parts, recently, put if I do, I'll probably have to hit the net. Wish a Frys would open in Las Vegas...
  • Cashier: So can I have your name?
    Me: Cash.
    Cashier: And how do you spell that, Mr Cash?
    Me: Cash. I'm paying you with cash.

  • (slighly edited)

    1)push power
    2)push start button
    3)something bad happens, goto 1 (indefinitely)

    or Apple:
    1)push power
    2)start surfing
  • ... but wasn't NT a joint venture between Microsoft and IBM?

    Yeah, but Digital bought into the whole NT thing.. They even ported NT to the Alpha.. Digital, the once mighty minicomputer giant, then started losing a lot of money, and were bought by a PC company.

    -joev, former DEC employee, who actually worked in Digital's NT marketing group...

  • I forgot the perdantic, "correction" post by a perfectionist like you 8^) (Just kidding)
  • Hmm.

    public class SlashdotRant

    public static void main (String[] args)
    { String microsoft, radioshack;

    if ((microsoft == overpriced_software) && (radioshack == overpriced_hardware))

    microsoft + radioshack = worst of both worlds;


    System.out.println ("It's still not worth it. Shop somewhere else.");



    Woohoo. Posting in java. I feel like a geek, and I love it!
  • I always considered Windows to be a migraine in a box and RadioShack to be an invasion of my privacy- I'm sorry, but I shouldn't have to tell you where I live to buy a damned patch cable: it's not Plutonium or an AK47! Screw legality- if a company wants to be nosy, they're going to drag me kicking and screaming. I buy at RS, and when the inevitable question comes up, I do one of two things, depending on how generous I'm feeling:
    1. Lie.
    2. "Sorry, that's not something I have to give you. If you want to push it, I'll take my business elsewhere."

    Number one has the effect of pissing off the schlepp that lives in my old apartment. Number two has always gotten me out quick, with item in hand.

    Seriously, I fail to see how this is a good thing. Bookstores and computer stores are already swamped in MS books and paraphenalia- a partnership w/ RS is only increasing their reach into one area they don't control. Isn't this spreading the monopoly?
    When I think "quality", MS is the last thing on my list- why RS would want to promote a substandard product is beyond me. Since the whole environment of the store seems to be more for electronics hobbyists and people trying to connect their cuisinart to their Dreamcast through their Amiga, one would think it an ideal environment for Linux.

    Combining a desktop monopoly with the vast database of customers that Radio Shack has is a disturbing thought. Microsoft wanting to get their mitts into that, possibly? Ouch. "Sympathy for Microsoft!" junk mail, anyone? Anyone?

    Only Death is Silence.
    Acceptance is Surrender.
  • in this case i think it's because no one else cares.

    i wonder if MSNBC is *obligated* to hype every lame MS press release.
  • > But what do you do when you're joe schmoe, and don't have the knowledge to do it yourself?

    I've recently come to realise the wisdom behind a teacher's quote at my old school.

    "The man in the street? Sometimes, I wish they just left him there!".

    The sensible point behind the quote is that it's not necessarily the case that having all ignorant - or I should say, unknowing - folks coming to Linux is a good thing, rather that there will be some to whom other packages are better suited. Simply because, Linux wouldn't be Linux with that sort of market-awareness: the whole thing could go down the pan pretty fast, as it hits the increasingly-commercial arena.

    Where are the geeks yelling 'let's keep linux free!'? (Apart from me, that is :)
  • FYI, some friends of mine have been in Tandy's op center. Whenever you make a purchase at RS and give them your name, the info is uploaded *live* to Tandy. Supposedly, their op room looks like 'War Games'...

    engineers never lie; we just approximate the truth.

  • Windows 95/98/2000 kernel is older than Dirt (Dirt, of course, having been invented in 1994, just after MS-DOS 6.0

    Gee when did the linux kernel get made? When did Unix get invented?

    Oh hang on, all those things actually have improvements over the years - even the *evil* microsoft empire seems to continue development on the NT kernel.
  • If MS made a stratiegic alliance with SuperCuts.

    (o.k. a cheap shot, I couldn't resist)
  • They dont even have many pars there anymore. or radioshack's website are helpful.
  • Is it just me or does Radio Shack just seem to be one big industry flunky? I mean the have some deal with Sprint where they try to con you into phones, and some deal where they try to con you into Primestar, now MS. What happened to the days when Radio Shack carried Tandy and Optimus products and you could just go in there and by some resistors and transistors and stuff without being bombarded by salesmen?
    Also is mine the only Radio Shack where the employees think they know everything, but know nothing. I HATE getting into arguments with Radio Shack employees. I could go in there and say I am going to invent an Astral Demoleculizer to travel to another dimension and the employees at my radio shack would insist that I am buying the wrong parts to make it work even though they obviously don't know anything about Astral Demoleculizers they feel the need to be right. It really annoys me.
    *NOTE*: If you are with a Government agency I do not know anything about Astral Demoleculizers and have by no circumstances built such a device and traveled to PS389 to read the blue book. Honest.

  • Isn't this amazing? How is it that every other industry has competing national chains? (OK, someone will think of a counterexample, but I can't.) Apart from Fry's - don't get me started - I can't think of another physical storefront to go to if I need a resistor.

    Maybe in order to be successful in that market, you have to relentlessly collect addresses and phone numbers of your clientele.

  • You mean like is Slashdot *obligated* to hype every Linux one? ;)
  • I have found it is better not to ask Radio Shack employees any questions at all. They will give you misinformation before they will admit that they don't know. I think the best computer Radio Shack ever sold was the TRS-80. They currently sell low end Compaq's at almost twice the price as Fry's. Now that I think of it, MS and RS are perfect for each other, selling overpriced crap to mindless people.
  • No...

    Radio Shack has always sucked, as has MTV. Ok, at one point back in the early 80's MTV sucked _less_ but it still sucked.

    Microsoft has always sucked too, so I can see the commercials now:

    Hey! You got your Microsoft in my Radio Shack. No, you got your Radio Shack in my Microsoft! (voice over) MS RadioShack! Two sucky things that suck tgoether!

  • I used to work at "the shack" and was always amazed at the boneheaded things they would come up with. First was DCC (Digital Compact Cassette) which lasted about as long as the VIS (Video Information System - roughly a 286 with a CD and some game controllers running Windows 2.x). Both failed miserably. The only thing RS has ever had in their stores the past few years that did anything was Sprint. They don't have a single thing (except parts - and not a whole lot of those any more) that really excites me in their catalog. I can run down to Best Buy, the higher end AV store, or the local ham radio store and get much better stuff in the long run.

    I guess what I am getting to is this - just because it is Radio Shack and their 6000+ stores does not make this a good deal for either party. RS is becomming more and more of a K-mart/TG&Y like place. You ain't gonna find the top quality stuff there, and everybody knows it. If MS wants to be associated with that image, more power to them.

  • Agreed on that one. Though it is rather poetic, two of the largest examples of techno-mediocrity jumping in bed together. I'm just glad there are other electronics stores around. The shock of going in to RadioTrash and seeing and seeing M$ crap all over the place could be life threatening.
  • I used to live in you know how many choices geeks in Maine have for parts stores? Hint: >2. Seriously, probably the only good thing about Radio Whore is they're everywhere...malls, plazas, big cities, little towns. Where ever I go, I can at least rely on having the Whore within a 1/2 hour. Maybe if they were bought out by Frys (which I have never seen) or become the physical frontend to digikey (which I have never visited), they'd be more reasonable. I mean, really, these other stores maybe great, but if they're not in my area (and I can't wait for mail order), RS is, by far, the most convenient solution.

  • Shack comes from them being a ham radio store. See, when a ham radio operator is talking about his station, he calls it his ham shack. Radio Shack sold lots of ham radio stuff a looong time ago, but they also had cool things like TV kits, stereo receiver kits, etc. So, they just called it Radio Shack. When Tandy bought them in the 1960s (70s?) they kept the name because the Radio Shack name was quite popular with hams and kit builders in those days.
  • Anything that I'd have to special-order from Radio Shack, I'd rather buy from JDR Microdevices, Digikey, or Mouser Electronics.

    Anything that I'd buy at Radio Shack, I'd rather buy somewhere else. I only shop there if (for some reason) I need to buy inkjet cartridges and I don't feel like going all the way to the local computer store.
  • Shit...2...hit the wrong key...sorry...
  • Actually, DigiKey's local for me. :) My friend's mother works there so she buys parts at the employee rate, sometimes like 50-75% off... It's a great deal, cheap electronics, cables, etc...
  • Will I have to give my CD-Key for any piece of MS software I own, in addition to my phone number, when I buy batteries?

    $5 says those Radio Shack batteries stop working in my Palm Pilot, and will only work in a wince device.

  • Stability? Performance?

    Get real!

    Get Realistic OS!

  • Somehow, this move does not come as a surpirse to me, but I am disappointed none the less. I remember Radio Shack fondly as a place full of *parts*, not a general-consumer targeted store of ready-made electronics. The chain, however, was apparently (and it's no surprise) unable to profit from such an operation, or at least saw greater oportunity in other areas.

    The last time I walked into a Radio Shack was last year, and I was looking for some cat5 cable... I asked the man working the counter if they had any eternet cable, and he looked at me, puzzled, and asked "Internet cable? I don't think we have that."

    Ugh. The microsoft deal seemed inevitable, or at least something like it was. Radio Shack is no longer the place it used to be. It's kind of sad.
  • 10) Transistors all run WinCE, quintupled in size.

    9) Sound level meter now constantly asks "Are you sure you want to use that decible setting"?

    8) RC cars now automatically attempt to seek and destroy nearest DOJ agent.

    7) Old Tandy computers are back, running Microsoft BobCE (tm) as ther OS. Dual processor models availaible, in the BobCE Twin model...

    6) Now asked for name, address, and full list of licenced Microsoft products in house.

    5) Salesmen required to wear Microsoft Bob masks to appear more friendly.

    4) Required to show proof of MSCE to buy most electronics.

    3) Radio Shack computers now overpriced and unreliable - the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    2) New Microsoft demo of Microsoft Laser Pointer 2000 accidentially blinds entire mall security force.

    1) New toy of the year - RC Paperclip.
  • Amazing that it took twenty million lines of code to accomplish:

  • Almost all of the comments I have seen completely miss the reason why Microsoft is doing this deal...

    It's the connectivity, stupid! Microsoft has invested millions already into companies that provide cable modems... they have also invested heavily in DSL companies such as Northpoint, who signed a deal with Tandy/Radio Shack to market their wares in Radio Shack.. what that means is that Microsoft's fledgling DSL service can work with Northpoint's national DSL service in offering high-speed connectivity across the nation, and of course the default ISP for these "great deals" will be MSN. Radio Shack will have their own install trucks and personnel to bring DSL to the masses, probably using the newest, most consumer-friendly type of DSL which allows respectable bandwidth and telephone calls over the same line. In other words, Microsoft wants to dominate your desktop, your web browser, your gate way to the net, and even make a profit off of getting you connected.

    Contrary to what some people think, DSL is a good thing, and getting a lot better real soon. Sure there is the possibility of fast access on cable modems, assuming that all your neighbors don't want on the 'net too... but do you really want to share your bandwidth (and your "secure" network) with Billy down the street? Already, there is information showing that DSL is faster than cable modems during evening hours. Why? Because little Billy is watching that streaming porn again...

    Personally, I hope a lot of you are right and that this flops, but I suspect that many drones will jump on the bandwagon once the price range hits about $40 a month... Hey! They can offer three months of free service with every upgrade to Windows 2000! Whee. The idea of using a good DSL modem to deliver MSN is kinda repulsive, no?!? It's like racing your new sports car with the great paint job over gravel roads. Pretty grating...
  • Back "in the day" when high-end IBM PC's featured the awesome 8086, Tandy (Radio Shack) build a PC called the Tandy 2000.

    The Tandy 2000 featured an 80186, which is an 8086 with built in UART and DMA controller. The Tandy 2000 also featured a 640x480 color display at a time when the CGA was standard. All in all, it was about 4 years ahead of its time.

    I remember a strange thing about the announcement: it was "85% IBM compatable." Huh? Who would make a "sorta compatible PC"? What software would it run reliably?

    Well, it would run all this great new software for a new environment called "Windows." The slight differences in hardware would be hidden by "drivers." Cool, huh?

    Except Microsoft didn't ship Windows 1.0 in time. When it did, it sucked. Worse yet, Microsoft decided to put Windows on the backburner in order to produce a new operating system with IBM called "OS/2."

    The net result is that Tandy ended up with a warehouse full of Tandy 2000's they couldn't sell. It put them out of the computer business pretty much permanently.

    The IBM PC didn't kill the TRS-80, Microsoft did.

  • When I was a kid, one of my friends bought a 12V 3A transformer from Radio Shack. To test it, we put a 10K Ohm resistor across the secondaries, and watched the wee beastie boil its waxy guts out.

    Microsoft sort of provides the same users experience in software.

  • has

    1) the desktop client
    2) the server
    3) the proprietary protocols
    4) the physical stores

    that doesn't sound a like a recipe for choice to me...
  • Y'know, Radio Shack has had so many chances to be a really good, useful store, and they have screwed it up horribly every time. They could have been a great parts repository for people into electronics, a/v, and radio, but the substandard quality of the parts and their blockheaded sales staff truly makes the Rat Shack a last resort for even the smallest purchases (yeah, I'll grit my teeth and go in there for the RCA Y-cable, coz its faster than mail order...)

    Likewise, Radio Shack has been around since the very beginning of the personal computer revolution - I wrote my very first program around 1980 on a TRS-80 Model III - but they've just never seemed to "get it". They could've made a killing if they'd jumped the gun selling good quality PC accessories rather than overpriced "Tandy" brand (aka Tandy crashtastic floppies for $30+ a box).

    And I just can't resist adding yet another rant about their policy of polling customers for name and address. My last Rat Shack experience was as follows: I needed a pair of mid-range headphones in a hurry, and RS was conviently located. Bought a pair of headphones for ~$40 US, took them home, and one channel didn't work. Went back the next day for an exchange - this time I tested them in the store. ANOTHER defective pair! At this point, I wanted my money back, but had to argue with the salesbeing for a while because it wouldn't give me a refund until I divulged my name & address. When I finally revealed my identity as "Zarathustra Rosenthorpe", the salesbeing finally relented.

    As far as the Microsoft partnership is concerned, the deal may get them a little more exposure with Random P. Consumer, almost certainly at the expense of a further tarnished reputation. I expect to see MS displays popping up in McDonalds and 7-11 any minute now...

  • Radio Shack, sucks, IMHO, unless you want to build...radios. If they had partnered with Internet Shack it might be a worthy news item. FWIW, Headline News (Time/Warner) was also running 2 minute commerecials, err, news items on the partnership.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal