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(Slate)   Microsoft unveils Microsoft Stores to compete with Apple Stores. They will be recognizable by the numerous blue windows   (slate.com) divider line 149
    More: Cool, Microsoft Research, Microsoft, Apple, Apple Stores, Microsoft software  
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3129 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Apr 2012 at 1:30 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-26 12:14:04 PM  
One of them are opening in my local mall, same floor as the Apple Store. At least there will now be a second store for my son and I to wait in while my wife & daughter shop.
 
2012-04-26 12:24:10 PM  
I can't even imagine what the hell MSFT is thinking. Are they trying to pretend MSFT products are all about user experience now??

MSFT products have been all about extracting value from the customer for more than a decade. We are drones who's only purpose is to consume and add to the bottom line. The products are modeled on innovations stolen from created by other companies.

XBox is doing fine but Office is under attack, Win8 is the only chance on the horizon for new business. If you press a MSFT manager for future expansions, they vaguely mention "the cloud", but have no freaking idea what that means in terms of real products for real customers.

Good luck, circa 1990 IBM... oops, I mean MSFT.
 
2012-04-26 01:04:58 PM  
Yeah, what Rain-Monkey said. In addition...who the hell gets worked up and excited about the latest Microsoft products? Anyone? Apple has built up a culture. When they come out with something new, people take note and a whole lot of people want it. Not saying that isn't consumeristic poo, but that's the way it is. Apple has built an image over the past decade or so and it drives people to their stores.

What the hell is going to drive people to Microsoft Stores? And, funny enough, it looks an awful lot like an Apple Store with different products on the tables. Are they going to have a Really Smart Guy Table for people who need tech support?
 
2012-04-26 01:33:48 PM  
It's a sad day when Microsoft is falling behind.
 
2012-04-26 01:34:18 PM  
Shouldn't that be "unveiled"? Like, three years ago?
 
2012-04-26 01:37:32 PM  
Got to say I have had Windows 7 for about a year now and no issues, and excel and access cannot really be beat.
 
2012-04-26 01:37:54 PM  
media.tumblr.com

IS FUNNY BECAUSE WINDOWS 98 CRASHES A LOT!!1!
 
2012-04-26 01:38:33 PM  
Will Clippy be there to lurk behind shelves and pounce on unsuspecting shoppers with stacks of coupons and unbelievable offers?
 
2012-04-26 01:38:34 PM  
this sign will be the easiest way to spot the stores

activerain.com
 
2012-04-26 01:42:26 PM  

Rain-Monkey: I can't even imagine what the hell MSFT is thinking. Are they trying to pretend MSFT products are all about user experience now??


They've been pushing in that direction for a while now, first with Win7 and then with Metro (WinPhone 7/Win8). As to whether that's been successful, that's entirely your call.

/IMHO: Win7 is a fantastic product, but Metro not so much -- it's an interesting and distinctive interface, but frankly, I think both iOS and Android have it beat, and it has no business whatsoever on a desktop machine.
 
2012-04-26 01:44:24 PM  

Rain-Monkey: I can't even imagine what the hell MSFT is thinking. Are they trying to pretend MSFT products are all about user experience now??

MSFT products have been all about extracting value from the customer for more than a decade. We are drones who's only purpose is to consume and add to the bottom line. The products are modeled on innovations stolen from created by other companies.

XBox is doing fine but Office is under attack, Win8 is the only chance on the horizon for new business. If you press a MSFT manager for future expansions, they vaguely mention "the cloud", but have no freaking idea what that means in terms of real products for real customers.

Good luck, circa 1990 IBM... oops, I mean MSFT.


How is that *not* Apple? I really hope you don't buy into their happy-go-lucky ad campaign, because guess what--Apple and Microsoft are both corporations, which both exist to create money, and they sure as shiat both treat their customers as numbers. They both steal shiat from other companies (hi, xerox). Finally, Microsoft does make its own stuff, like the Kinect.

Durendal: Yeah, what Rain-Monkey said. In addition...who the hell gets worked up and excited about the latest Microsoft products? Anyone? Apple has built up a culture. When they come out with something new, people take note and a whole lot of people want it. Not saying that isn't consumeristic poo, but that's the way it is. Apple has built an image over the past decade or so and it drives people to their stores.

What the hell is going to drive people to Microsoft Stores? And, funny enough, it looks an awful lot like an Apple Store with different products on the tables. Are they going to have a Really Smart Guy Table for people who need tech support?


Guess who didn't read the article? I think you'll find this will answer some of your questions.
 
2012-04-26 01:44:38 PM  

LegacyDL: It's a sad day when Microsoft is falling behind.


If you're talking actual tech and not market share, then that day was back in the 80's

My dad used to have a t-shirt: "Windows 95 = Apple 89"
 
2012-04-26 01:48:09 PM  
Microsoft's bread-and-butter has always been selling Windows, Office, Exchange etc. to businesses.

With the exception of the Xbox, their forays into consumer electronics have generally been failures. And even the Xbox only succeeded because MSFT was willing to eat massive losses on the first-gen Xbox just to gain a foothold in the market, and then ate massive losses on the Xbox360 during the red ring of death fiasco. Their mobile platforms have never gained much traction. The Zune was a failure. Plays-for-Sure didn't play for sure. Windows media formats never became the standard that they wanted it to be.

Microsoft should stick to what it knows how to do. Serve their enterprise customers.
 
2012-04-26 01:49:06 PM  
Oh silly rabbits, Windows 8, Office and Xbox arent the only place they get money from.

M$ is far from out our business as nobody else has a robust secure easy to use OS that combines UI for photos, music, movies, internet, games, administration, multiple users, etc, all while staying affordable enough that a company is willing to invest in 10,000 units at one time.

Let the trolling begin!
 
2012-04-26 01:50:58 PM  
Microsoft products are available in stores everywhere already...it isn't a problem of availability and presentation (which was why Apple opened stores int he first place), it is a problem of reputation.
 
2012-04-26 01:51:02 PM  
i1.ytimg.com
 
2012-04-26 01:52:04 PM  
Seems like there's a been a msft store across from the apple store in seattle for a long time now. I have even bought things at both of those stores so I am certain it's true.
 
2012-04-26 01:52:08 PM  

ScreamingHangover: LegacyDL: It's a sad day when Microsoft is falling behind.

If you're talking actual tech and not market share, then that day was back in the 80's

My dad used to have a t-shirt: "Windows 95 = Apple 89"


Dat's da joke.

/I assume
 
2012-04-26 01:52:38 PM  

Rain-Monkey: MSFT products have been all about extracting value from the customer for more than a decade. We are drones who's only purpose is to consume and add to the bottom line. The products are modeled on innovations stolen from created by other companies.


I'm no MS fanboy or anything, but this is just how technology evolves, and it's not a bad thing. Henry Ford pioneered many of the fundamental techniques behind mass-manufacturing that are still in use today, in a hugely diverse range of industries - do we demonize companies like HP for "ripping off" Ford?
 
2012-04-26 01:57:55 PM  

Loaf's Tray: Rain-Monkey: MSFT products have been all about extracting value from the customer for more than a decade. We are drones who's only purpose is to consume and add to the bottom line. The products are modeled on innovations stolen from created by other companies.

I'm no MS fanboy or anything, but this is just how technology evolves, and it's not a bad thing. Henry Ford pioneered many of the fundamental techniques behind mass-manufacturing that are still in use today, in a hugely diverse range of industries - do we demonize companies like HP for "ripping off" Ford?


Nah, we demonize HP for a host of other highly legitimate reasons instead ;)

/wishes HP made cars though, I'd love to just throw them away rather then pay for a refill
 
2012-04-26 01:58:40 PM  
All Microsoft hate aside (and as a long standing Apple user, I have my issues with them), I have to say I can't see this ending well for them.

They're blatantly copying the Apple Store theme, which makes sense. It works, and I don't blame them for trying to imitate a working model. The issue is Apple is a direct competitor in many markets, and the comparison will be made in every article you read, and every news report you see. All that does is include press for your competitor in every piece of press you get. They'll push for getting news coverage, but they'll end up giving it to Apple at the same time.

The other problem is whether they do their own Genius bar. If they don't, the store will be called a pale imitation of an Apple Store, they'll be blasted for not providing the same level of service as Apple, for not creating a whole experience designed to aid the user/customer.

On the other hand, if they do include their own Genius Bar, they're gonna have their hands full. They're going to see people bringing everything from stock HPs to custom built boxes with the internets cheapest parts and be expected to help the customers when they don't work because it's running Windows. You'll end up seeing a LOT of people walking away unhappy because the people behind the bench either can't or won't help them.

The reason Apple can do the Genius Bar so well is because they own the whole widget, so they have limited known variables to work with. Even when you have an issue with your iDevice and your PC, they'll diagnose the device, and if it's not an Apple problem, they'll blame it on your Windows PC, which the Apple Store clearly won't fix for you. You can't blame them for that, but they WILL blame MS for turning away people when their Windows Phone is fine but their White Box PC their neighbor built for them can't sync with it properly.

The biggest issue for them is if the stores fail, it will be reported in the news as proof how Microsoft can't keep up with Apple.

It seems to me that they have more to lose here than gain.
 
2012-04-26 02:01:11 PM  

BumpInTheNight: Loaf's Tray: Rain-Monkey: MSFT products have been all about extracting value from the customer for more than a decade. We are drones who's only purpose is to consume and add to the bottom line. The products are modeled on innovations stolen from created by other companies.

I'm no MS fanboy or anything, but this is just how technology evolves, and it's not a bad thing. Henry Ford pioneered many of the fundamental techniques behind mass-manufacturing that are still in use today, in a hugely diverse range of industries - do we demonize companies like HP for "ripping off" Ford?

Nah, we demonize HP for a host of other highly legitimate reasons instead ;)

/wishes HP made cars though, I'd love to just throw them away rather then pay for a refill


I only chose HP as an example because I happen to have an LJ4250 torn to pieces all over my desk at the moment, so I'm getting a kick...
 
2012-04-26 02:04:57 PM  
Microsoft is an enterprise software company. When they finally get that - I'll invest in them.
 
2012-04-26 02:05:15 PM  
Gosh. Yet another mediocre maneuver by the "Me Too" Corporation.
 
2012-04-26 02:06:05 PM  

Loaf's Tray: BumpInTheNight: Loaf's Tray: Rain-Monkey: MSFT products have been all about extracting value from the customer for more than a decade. We are drones who's only purpose is to consume and add to the bottom line. The products are modeled on innovations stolen from created by other companies.

I'm no MS fanboy or anything, but this is just how technology evolves, and it's not a bad thing. Henry Ford pioneered many of the fundamental techniques behind mass-manufacturing that are still in use today, in a hugely diverse range of industries - do we demonize companies like HP for "ripping off" Ford?

Nah, we demonize HP for a host of other highly legitimate reasons instead ;)

/wishes HP made cars though, I'd love to just throw them away rather then pay for a refill

I only chose HP as an example because I happen to have an LJ4250 torn to pieces all over my desk at the moment, so I'm getting a kick...


Hehehe, stupid swingplates.
 
2012-04-26 02:07:19 PM  

Malacon: It seems to me that they have more to lose here than gain.


Nice analysis. The only thing I'd add is that this may piss off a lot of Microsoft resellers, like Best Buy. The Apple Stores didn't really compete with them, because not that many stores carried Apple software anyway. But if Best Buy feels like Microsoft is competing with them directly, they may not be so thrilled about spending a lot of capital to stock Windows on the shelves.
 
2012-04-26 02:09:01 PM  
Copy? Sure. I'll side with the writer, though. Nice to see MS beginning to realize what "competition" is. Glacially, but the realization is there nonetheless.

At Mall Of America, the two stores are directly across from each other, with a little living room of Ikea furniture in the hallway between them. Sit there, and countlessly, one will hear folks walking past, pointing at the two, and laughing at the audacity of Microsoft's "blatant rip-off". Anecdotal? You bet. But that's exactly what they have to overcome with regard to their current image. Mountains and mountains of consumer-driven anecdotal. For every "I have Windows 7 and have never had so much as a crash in 2 years", there's four... well, typical MS enduser experiences. We'll see if their stores help slow the slide down the slope.
 
2012-04-26 02:10:28 PM  

gingerjet: Microsoft is an enterprise software company. When they finally get that - I'll invest in them.


What about xbox?

We have a Microsoft store in Tysons Corner (Norther Virginia) and it's always crowded. They have some kinects set up out side for people to play and that area is always packed too. I was there a few days ago looking at some tablets/slate computers. I think the brick and mortar store for them could actually work out well for them.
 
2012-04-26 02:12:22 PM  
I'd also just like to say that anything the eats more of gamestop's business (selling xboxes and xbox paraphernalia) is something I approve of.
 
2012-04-26 02:16:55 PM  
It's funny that people think that Apple and Microsoft compete with each other. They dabble a little in each other's businesses, but they do very little direct competition.

Sure, Microsoft has a phone that has a tiny market share and Apple has an operating system that has a tiny market share and both make web browsers that they give away for free but they're not really competitors on anything significant.
 
2012-04-26 02:18:33 PM  

Durendal: who the hell gets worked up and excited about the latest Microsoft products?


battellemedia.com

This guy
 
2012-04-26 02:20:30 PM  

Durendal: who the hell gets worked up and excited about the latest Microsoft products?


stereogum.com

And this guy.
 
2012-04-26 02:21:12 PM  

Oakenshield: Sit there, and countlessly, one will hear folks walking past, pointing at the two, and laughing at the audacity of Microsoft's "blatant rip-off".


No shiat. Having a store to sell your wares. How dare they.
 
2012-04-26 02:24:49 PM  
Wait a minute... so, Microsoft is taking Apple's concept, changing a few things here and there, and branding it under their name? This may result in an infinite loop.
 
2012-04-26 02:28:38 PM  
www.cardenco.com

How could this idea possibly fail?
 
2012-04-26 02:35:57 PM  
I will say that the store in Nova also did one great thing to set it apart from the Apple store further down. The whole front is open. Meaning no glass separating you from the inside of the store as opposed to the Apple store. I don't think this subtle piece of architecture was an accident.
 
2012-04-26 02:39:12 PM  
I sometimes stop by the Microsoft store at the Mall of America sometimes and while it is certainly a carbon copy of the Apple store across the hall, they have pulled off the concept well.

Apple's retail strategy is different, but it works. They showcase some of the best products running Microsoft stuff and they show people ways they can be used. It's fun to make fun of Microsoft for blatantly ripping off the Apple store, but it's a great idea and it's well executed.
 
2012-04-26 02:41:50 PM  

Rain-Monkey: XBox is doing fine but Office is under attack, Win8 is the only chance on the horizon for new business. If you press a MSFT manager for future expansions, they vaguely mention "the cloud", but have no freaking idea what that means in terms of real products for real customers.


Um, you ARE aware that Google is only now starting to offer what Microsoft's SkyDrive has offered for years, right? SkyDrive is already deeply integrated into Windows Phone, and will be similarly built into Windows 8. Apple's iCloud service lags behind SkyDrive is several key aspects (for example, you can view edit, and create Office docs on SkyDrive, but no iWork docs saved on iCloud can be viewed in the browser on ANY computer).

Also, there's Office 365, which offers hosted Exchange, Sharepoint, and Lync for businesses. That's a pretty big move into the world of offering online services instead of selling server software, one that allows them to explained out to small businesses that don't have the capital to spend on installing and maintaining business-grade email and file servers.

Microsoft may not be the cool kid on class, but you certainly can't say that their cloud services are all vaporware.
 
2012-04-26 02:45:49 PM  
I remember the Zune display at my local Best Buy. It was around the corner from a big, well-lit iPod display. It was obviously built to look like the iPod shelf, but it was smaller, cheap-looking, and some of the bulbs needed replacing. The Zune on display was that special brown color that brings to mind Eastern Bloc countries before the Wall came down.

It looked like Microsoft management couldn't believe that anybody would buy an iPod if a half-assed Microsoft equivalent was available. Such arrogance. Such FAIL.
 
2012-04-26 02:46:08 PM  

Theaetetus: Malacon: It seems to me that they have more to lose here than gain.

Nice analysis. The only thing I'd add is that this may piss off a lot of Microsoft resellers, like Best Buy. The Apple Stores didn't really compete with them, because not that many stores carried Apple software anyway. But if Best Buy feels like Microsoft is competing with them directly, they may not be so thrilled about spending a lot of capital to stock Windows on the shelves.


Very good point, and don't forget the additional lost sales this can create. Simple no-thought purchases can often turn into a lot more, and I can see people stopping into an MS store because they're already at the mall and don't want to drive over to Best Buy later for a gig stick, and a mouse... and maybe the new Halo.
 
2012-04-26 02:49:37 PM  
Pfft. Microsoft can't compete with this shiat:

i.imgur.com
 
2012-04-26 02:52:25 PM  

ScreamingHangover:
My dad used to have a t-shirt: "Windows 95 = Apple 89"


< Amiga 1986. So?
 
2012-04-26 02:52:51 PM  

UNHbeta19: Got to say I have had Windows 7 for about a year now and no issues, and excel and access cannot really be beat.


Well if that's not a rave review I don't know what is. Settle down, dude.
 
2012-04-26 02:53:46 PM  

Malacon: Very good point, and don't forget the additional lost sales this can create. Simple no-thought purchases can often turn into a lot more, and I can see people stopping into an MS store because they're already at the mall and don't want to drive over to Best Buy later for a gig stick, and a mouse... and maybe the new Halo.


I think the counterpoint to that is that BBUY is clearly struggling mightily and closing more stores than they open. Perhaps MSFT sees the writing on the wall and doesn't want to be caught with their pants down with a further decline in bricks and mortar stores that sell their products directly to consumers. Lets face it - office max and staples and best buy are supremely crappy places to buy computers and their tech support/product expertise is nearly non existent.
 
2012-04-26 02:55:52 PM  
Microsoft has some serious chops from software to hardware to games to mobile. The only thing it doesn't have is the cult of personality and direct-to-consumer presence that Apple has. Microsoft Stores are a step in the right direction.

Plus they're a great place to test stuff before you buy it cheaper online.
 
2012-04-26 03:08:41 PM  
They'll need to heavily advertise this using Lauren DeLong.
 
2012-04-26 03:11:03 PM  
I actually went for several interviews for the Bridgewater NJ location.

/didn't get hired
 
2012-04-26 03:16:39 PM  
Repeatedly asking the question, how can we market ourselves better, rather than, how can we improve our product.
 
2012-04-26 03:21:18 PM  

Loaf's Tray: I only chose HP as an example because I happen to have an LJ4250 torn to pieces all over my desk at the moment, so I'm getting a kick...


God damn, what a raging piece of shiat those printers are. They drop like flies while the 4100 series around here all have well over a million pages on all of them and don't so much as twitch.
 
2012-04-26 03:25:45 PM  
As someone still using Vista (haven't put in the new dvd drive so I haven't installed 7 yet, on that is in my tower died) I"m getting a kick. Also no problems with Vista since I installed it.

Take that haters.
 
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