Microsoft stores to open beside Apple stores

As previously reported right here on Neowin, Microsoft is opening up retail stores this coming fall season, just in time for the Windows 7 October 22 launch time frame.

Many of the Microsoft stores will open up right near Apple stores to compete with the popular Apple retail chains. Microsoft is slow to get into the market of having its own retail chain, which will sell all of their own products, much like Sony and Apple currently do.

Not many details have been released on what the store will contain or what type of hardware, if any, they will make available for sale. Microsoft's strategy is to open retail chains in locations currently occupied by Apple stores to better compete with them, including a rumor about Microsoft looking into opening a chain in Times Square, New York back in 2005. The retail chains will be able to directly assist customers with their Microsoft purchases, rather than having large retail chains like Bestbuy sell Microsoft products.

The stores will be headed by a former DreamWorks Animation and Wal-Mart executive, David Porter. There isn't any set dates on when the stores will launch this fall season, but it would be a safe bet to say that they will be open in time for the release of Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 7.

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Would it be cheaper to just buy the OEM version at newegg.com? Microsoft can't have a store because they sell OEM version half the price and Apple does not.

AfroTrance said,
Are they just going to sell Windows, Office, other minor software, Zunes and mouses/keyboards?

It should be everything Microsoft has to offer - Office, Operating Systems, Zune and other software, The portable Zune Players, Xbox, Mouses, keyboards etc. and most probably laptops and other hardware form their partners - HP, Dell, Acer and so on. It all looks great but we have to wait to see how the real thing will operate

There must have been either an ex-Best Buy marketer or ex-Circuit City marketer who thought of this one. Those two stores always built right on top of each other.

Too bad Flanders is holding up a "Vista Rocks" sign. Nobody would buy from him now. It should say "Windows 7 Rocks!" instead :P

Actually i find this quite fitting and a bit ironic if you have seen the actual simpsons episode. Its the one where Homer birthday wish is to see Flanders close up his left handed store.And then determined to reopen the store seeing pretty much everybody needed it. I need to find that show somewhere in my collection. O and props to the guy whom posted the pic up

will they be selling all the other goodies that you can buy from the mscompanystore i got a cool grey redmond campus mug from their a few years ago along with a mini zen garden type thingy.

I don't understand this move at all other than direct competition with Apple.

This may take away business from other stores that offer Microsoft products.

Apple has had a store in Vancouver for sometime - It hasn't seriously hit any of the stores in Vancouver that sell Apple. So, using this analogy, I doubt that opening a M$ store here would hurt the biggies like Future Shop or Best Buy - people will shop where it's convenient. I wouldn't go out of my way for a M$ shop if it was 100km away, and I can get the same thing at the local Best Buy that's only 10km away.

omnicoder said,
Thats odd... you made a decent comment and yet you called Microsoft M$... I'm confused...

I am confused as to your point? M$ = Microsoft

pc_tool said,
I am confused as to your point? M$ = Microsoft


People who use 'M$' are generally branded idiots by anyone with a highschool diploma and/or a significant other.

Should be interesting but then the thing is once I get everything I want - I have no point going into a store like this. I don't think I've ever been drawn to actually go into an Apple Store even though I pass by one so often.

Yea MS, squeeze your current retail partners and let them know they are disposable like your relationship with all the companies who made portable media players (Play4Sure anyone?).

So in your opinion Apple, Sony, HP, Philips... and a lot of others did the same. There are so many companies out there that sell directly to consumers as well as through their partners.

Looks like you are just trying to find a reason to dislike Microsoft.

If it helps consumers all the better. The state Windows PCs end up in is horrendous. I was fixing friends computer the other day and the thing took 10 mins to load up fully and died every time I tried to do something and he uses this computer day to day and wasn't really bothered but he had internet issues. Educating consumers is a priority but I don't envy the staff in there, the amount of people coming in will be massive. Greater good though.

The store is a good idea for showing off their products and how they work together. The only way I know about that is because I'm interested in technology and visit sites like Neowin. The average consumer wouldn't have a scooby about the great features of some Microsoft stuff.

I don't think Microsoft plans on selling actual computers. Yeah, they'll display their software on computers, but I doubt they'll actually sell computers and pretty much compete with electronic retailers. If a person likes a computer, there's probably a little card or tag to find what other stores you can purchase this at.

Location is everything.

You have to wonder how they approached this. Did they do their homework and realize that Apple already had the best spots? It seems a bit lazy to just move in next door to Apple. You don't need to be right beside your competitor in order to compete. Besides that, it enhances the image of Microsoft playing catch-up to Apple's retail stores.

Yes, but being next to your competitor can help you compete sometimes. Take gas stations for instance. One goes up on a corner, and you get at least two competing stations on the other corners of that intersection. Setting up right next to Apple makes it more convenient for people to compare. I do agree, however, that it does push the image of Microsoft playing catchup. Damned if you do...

As long as I have another store to go into rather than the Apple store when I am at a mall and my girlfriend is shopping.

Microsoft is a very recognizable brand name. They will definitly bring people in no matter what the sell. Although it is likely going to be mostly what we see at places like best buy. It is good to see more healthy competition.

Yeah, this makes no sense to me. More and more people are shopping online. Another business decision that will be questioned in the next few years. Microsoft can't even get a decent functioning online store going.

Yes and No.

There are other online retailers who already do an excellent job selling Microsoft products. But there I can't think of any retail store that I actually want to go to for Microsoft stuff. If there was a "Microsoft Store" that offered a great way to experience their different technologies then that might be worth the trip to the store.

Firstmate said,
I think a Linux store should be built right in between the two.
When comparing prices: $500, $1400, $0

Your pricing makes no sense, I've never seen an OS that costs $1400...
Furthermore... hardware will never be free. Not even Linux hardware.

Regardz

Everything for $0? Wow! Sounds like a great revenue stream to me! I'm sure investors are lining up at your door...

Firstmate said,
I think a Linux store should be built right in between the two.
When comparing prices: $500, $1400, $0


And what will pay the rent for the shop?

Benjo85au said,

Your pricing makes no sense, I've never seen an OS that costs $1400...
Furthermore... hardware will never be free. Not even Linux hardware.

Regardz :)

You've never seen a server os then. :P

Why can't they come up with a good name! What would be wrong with "The Microsoft Store". Stop calling things an experience, or worse a "center"!

Don't get me wrong though, the store's brilliant and looks like they've utilized some really cool technology. But the name is bloody awful.

Axon said,
Why can't they come up with a good name! What would be wrong with "The Microsoft Store". Stop calling things an experience, or worse a "center"!

Don't get me wrong though, the store's brilliant and looks like they've utilized some really cool technology. But the name is bloody awful.

Where have I heard that name before... The ... Store. So MS do something original (the name, obviously not the idea), and you want them to keep copying??

cakesy said,
Where have I heard that name before... The ... Store. So MS do something original (the name, obviously not the idea), and you want them to keep copying??

There is nothing original about presumptive names such as "The Source", or various outlets of "experience" and "Genius".

PaulDr said,
I can't wait to find out where these stores will be opening, I would love to get one up here in Alaska.

I know, this is the most exciting thing to happen in the world ever. This is bigger than the moon landing. I hope they build one at the end of my street, so i can go visit it every day, eat my meals next to he store, rub it every few hours. That would make my life complete...

denne said,
"Retail Experience Centre?"

The brilliance that is MS naming continues!


You realise that's an old video about a mock-up store Microsoft made as an example for it's partners right?

denne said,
"Retail Experience Centre?"

The brilliance that is MS naming continues!


Even though it's actually just "Experience Center"?

Which, actually, wouldn't be a bad name at all for a shop, even though it is almost certainly just a name for the mockup. The Microsoft "Experience Center".

Kevin. said,
I hope they open some stores here in Atlanta. They would make for some great competition.

Why? Don't you have any stores in Atlanta?? I imagine you would have quite a few, even ones that sell Microsofts product.

I am not sure what MS think they can add by opening their own stores. It just looks like they are copying Apple for the sake of it now!!

cakesy said,
Why? Don't you have any stores in Atlanta?? I imagine you would have quite a few, even ones that sell Microsofts product.

I am not sure what MS think they can add by opening their own stores. It just looks like they are copying Apple for the sake of it now!!


He doesn't have any Microsoft retail stores in Atlanta; which is what he was hoping for.

Are you also not sure about what Apple think they add by operating their retail stores?

cakesy said,
I am not sure what MS think they can add by opening their own stores. It just looks like they are copying Apple for the sake of it now!!

I think MS is going to **** off some of those stores that sell MS stuff. Unless MS isn't going to compete with them on pricing, in which case MS stores aren't going to make any $$$. Maybe they're trying to offer tech support or something, since Geek Squad and other such retail services do nothing but rip people off.

Calum said,
Are you also not sure about what Apple think they add by operating their retail stores?

I think Apple offer something different to Microsoft. Apple offer hardware and software, what are Microsoft going to do. While MS hardware is great, they don't offer a full range of stuff, like PCs for example. Sure, they could sell zunes and xboxs and keyboards, but what do people really associate with Microsoft. Office and OSes, are they going to have a range of different pcs with windows 7 on there? I just don't see how it would be different to a best buy in that way.

Yeah - working in retail is pants. Did it for a few years as a saturday job before I moved on to having a career and wouldn't go back to it in a hurry.

they will likely sell HP laptops as they were advertising hp laptops in their "im a pc" commercials. I'd love to see a video of the MS shop next to the apple shop, they will have employees saying "our laptops are cheaper" from MS. Apple will having their employees saying something different i'm sure.

HP make good laptops. I went from a flimsy Acer machine to a brilliant HP machine and was surprised at the difference in sheer Quality. I'd definitely buy a HP laptop again. It's no wonder Microsoft is advertising them, PCs get a bad reputation because people buy crap makes (like Packard Bell) that install boatloads of crapware which inevitably hose the whole system, so it makes sense that Microsoft would show off a make that is good quality and will please anyone who buys them.

Kushan said,
HP make good laptops. I went from a flimsy Acer machine to a brilliant HP machine and was surprised at the difference in sheer Quality. I'd definitely buy a HP laptop again. It's no wonder Microsoft is advertising them, PCs get a bad reputation because people buy crap makes (like Packard Bell) that install boatloads of crapware which inevitably hose the whole system, so it makes sense that Microsoft would show off a make that is good quality and will please anyone who buys them.

On the other hand my HP Pavillion blew its nvidia 8400m and HP refuses to acknowledge the issue and expect me to pay hundreds and hundreds for the mobo to be replaced. Guess which laptop brand I won't be buying ever again.

Harbinger said,
On the other hand my HP Pavillion blew its nvidia 8400m and HP refuses to acknowledge the issue and expect me to pay hundreds and hundreds for the mobo to be replaced. Guess which laptop brand I won't be buying ever again.

This is not true. If you still have warranty, I am sure they will replace it for you for free and even exchange a newer model of your laptop if time takes so long to fix. I have never had any issue with HP.

Kushan said,
HP make good laptops. I went from a flimsy Acer machine to a brilliant HP machine and was surprised at the difference in sheer Quality. I'd definitely buy a HP laptop again. It's no wonder Microsoft is advertising them, PCs get a bad reputation because people buy crap makes (like Packard Bell) that install boatloads of crapware which inevitably hose the whole system, so it makes sense that Microsoft would show off a make that is good quality and will please anyone who buys them.

HP are rubbish, just like Dell. Saying it is better than an Acer is not saying a lot. IBM make great laptops still (under Lenovo), good solid beasts, designed beautifully. Toshiba used to make great laptops, but now they are all made by the same people. The Toshibas look like the Sonys, look like the rest of them, because they are all made in the same place.

What brand isn't rubbish? Seriously. Every time somebody posts about some brand of anything an army of ****ed off people storm in claiming what utter crap that brand is. If I listened to everyone there'd be nothing I could buy.

Really, my experience with Acer, HP, Dell, Toshiba, and even Sony have been positive overall. Though Sony does have a lot of bloatware and Acers tend to use some cheap materials. Out of what I've listed, I like HPs the most.

cakesy said,
HP are rubbish, just like Dell.

I stopped reading there.

Dell is one of the best laptop brands. Period. I dont know how they are in the desktop world but in the laptop world they blow anything else outta the water (price/features/etc ratio)

JDonner said,
I just build my own with the best quality components available, beats every OEM out there.

Almost impossible to build your own laptop (and no, buying a 3rd party HDD doesnt make it your own)

Solid Knight said,
What brand isn't rubbish? Seriously. Every time somebody posts about some brand of anything an army of ****ed off people storm in claiming what utter crap that brand is. If I listened to everyone there'd be nothing I could buy.
So true. There is a hater for every brand on the market.

powerade01 said,
Almost impossible to build your own laptop (and no, buying a 3rd party HDD doesnt make it your own)

no it's not you just don't know where to look

cakesy said,
HP are rubbish, just like Dell. Saying it is better than an Acer is not saying a lot. IBM make great laptops still (under Lenovo), good solid beasts, designed beautifully. Toshiba used to make great laptops, but now they are all made by the same people. The Toshibas look like the Sonys, look like the rest of them, because they are all made in the same place.

You really have no idea what you're talking about.

powerade01 said,
I stopped reading there.

Dell is one of the best laptop brands. Period. I dont know how they are in the desktop world but in the laptop world they blow anything else outta the water (price/features/etc ratio)

Look, dell might be good for the price, but I really see no different to them. the dell d640 is no different to the elitebook 6930p that I have now. They almost look exactly the same, the don't always sleep properly, but I am sure they are very cheap. I just would not count them in the same class as IBM/Lenovo or Apple.

jonhapimp said,
no it's not you just don't know where to look

can you tell me where ? i'd like to start building my own laptops as well

What brand of computers are they going to sell? Are all the brands going to be there? We need more information to see how it will work!

This is a good decision though. I want to see battles of employees over which operating system outside of the stores.

Tech Star said,
This is a good decision though. I want to see battles of employees over which operating system outside of the stores. :D

I would like to see it in LARP!

Tech Star said,
What brand of computers are they going to sell? Are all the brands going to be there? We need more information to see how it will work!

This is a good decision though. I want to see battles of employees over which operating system outside of the stores. :D

don't they usually use HP computers in expos and stuff?

I remember a big expo in madrid right before vista RTM'd, most (if not all) or the computers were HP.