Leaked documents reveal possible Microsoft Store layout

A few hours ago Gizmodo received an entire PowerPoint presentation revealing the possible layout and concepts of Microsoft's upcoming retail stores. While the documents are fairly old, according to our own sources, the final design for the stores has not yet been finalized.

After taking a look at the document, it appears that Microsoft is going to be focusing on Windows 7, Xbox, Windows Media Center (Including Surface) and Windows Mobile. It can be assumed that looking through the slides that there is going to be a massive digital media wall that wraps around the entire store. There will also be an answer bar, a fancier word for a information kiosk, in which you can ask the experts anything you need to know.


(Click to enlarge)

Stages will also be set up for demoing products; obviously the focus will be on Windows 7, Windows Mobile, and Windows Media Center. Another focus of the staged area will be training sessions. According to the document, customers can expect free training sessions and paid group sessions.

At this point we don't know for sure if these plans will change, but as we move closer to this Fall one can assume that the plans will not change drastically. Frank Shaw, a member of Microsoft's press relations team, said that "As a part of our process in briefing creative agencies, we shared some early prototypes and concepts of our retail store plans. No final decisions have been made. As we previously announced, we are on track to open retail stores this Fall".

The PowerPoint presentation is massive, 54 slides total, so check out the gallery here.

(Images courtesy of Gizmodo)

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft proposes "Browser Ballot Screen" to the EU

Next Story

Critical remote IE exploit patch due Tuesday

58 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Another Apple Store-like retail store? Guru Bar? Sh*t...

EDIT: I'd love to see an MS store located right next to an Apple store. That would be interesting.

.Neo said,
And this has anything to do with the subject because...?

It has quite a lot to do with it? Are you seriously suggesting opening a shop has to be classified in terms of inspiration?

No, you're the one that has yet to provide the connection to the article.

1. It's a waste, every place that sells Windows PCs is a Microsoft store more or less. Way to mess with your retail partners again.
2. It looks like the old Apple Store layout, once again proving you can't do anything new.

Every retailer that can already carries the 360 and PCs, and you can't turn on a 360 without your PC screaming to make it a media center extender. So add the Zune and a Windows Home Server to the demo and your done. You'd be better off spending the money building a demo kiosk in the big box retailers and staffing them well. If it fails you end your lease for the space and move on without this kind of capital investment. The MS rudderless ship continues to drift.

PS. Even if I wasn't a Mac user (although I am a Windows engineer at work) I'd think it was lame that you are once again following Apple's lead.

bob_c_b said,
1. It's a waste, every place that sells Windows PCs is a Microsoft store more or less. Way to mess with your retail partners again.
2. It looks like the old Apple Store layout, once again proving you can't do anything new.

Every retailer that can already carries the 360 and PCs, and you can't turn on a 360 without your PC screaming to make it a media center extender. So add the Zune and a Windows Home Server to the demo and your done. You'd be better off spending the money building a demo kiosk in the big box retailers and staffing them well. If it fails you end your lease for the space and move on without this kind of capital investment. The MS rudderless ship continues to drift.

PS. Even if I wasn't a Mac user (although I am a Windows engineer at work) I'd think it was lame that you are once again following Apple's lead.

Yeah, this was my immediate thought when I first heard of the Microsoft Store concept. The entire thing seems out of touch and unnecessary. It's clear Microsoft is perturbed by Apple a this point (right or wrong) with the laptop hunter ads and now this. Microsoft was never to be confused with great advertising or PR innovation - and clearly that hasn't changed. Everything they have done (the ads, the store) is a response to Apple instead of making Apple respond to them.

This is going to go down as a failure. Why would I go out of my way to a Microsoft Store when a Best Buy or Target or anything else is right down the street? Unless they plan on pulling all of their retail supply.

Likewise, you can purchase Sony TVs, computers, music players, etc. at all of the major electronics retailers... but Sony also has Sony Style.

The problem with the major electronic retailers is that their presentation of Microsoft's products is, well, poor. Take a look at the laptops offered on display and notice how chaotic the desktops look, or even how messy the store can be. These "specialty" stores allow the companies to have tighter control over how they present their products to customers.

rm20010 said,
Likewise, you can purchase Sony TVs, computers, music players, etc. at all of the major electronics retailers... but Sony also has Sony Style.

The problem with the major electronic retailers is that their presentation of Microsoft's products is, well, poor. Take a look at the laptops offered on display and notice how chaotic the desktops look, or even how messy the store can be. These "specialty" stores allow the companies to have tighter control over how they present their products to customers.

Yes, and also note Sony is losing money hand over fist these days, poor example.

And MS likely won't be able to take an OEM laptop and strip off that "chaos" you refer to without going into a special agreement with that OEM and spending even more money. It's weak and now MS will have to try and exert some direction over OEMs who are battling for crumbs in a low margin market.

heh...

3. Align with product launch or special events
-Windows 7 launch
-Pink
-Xbox (Project Netal)
-Office 2010

i wonder what can 'Pink' mean?

Meh. I was really hoping for something grander, because Microsoft is such a large company.

I was thinking they'd have most if not all their products and services available in a much larger retail space, ready to be demoed and showcased to consumers. Lots of top-of-the-line or mid-range computers that are sleek and nice, maybe a holographic projector, OLED walls, Surface tables, and maybe one area of the windows of the store front and just out just like the shape of the Windows logo.

I wrote some more here: http://msftandthefuture.spaces.live.com/bl...!4353.entry

Quikboy said,
Meh. I was really hoping for something grander, because Microsoft is such a large company.

I was thinking they'd have most if not all their products and services available in a much larger retail space, ready to be demoed and showcased to consumers. Lots of top-of-the-line or mid-range computers that are sleek and nice, maybe a holographic projector, OLED walls, Surface tables, and maybe one area of the windows of the store front and just out just like the shape of the Windows logo.

I wrote some more here: http://msftandthefuture.spaces.live.com/bl...!4353.entry

While anything is possible, I don't believe their PR and advertisement folks think outside of the box like that. Like with anything else they've done, they look at what their opponents are doing and just tweak it a bit - there's no innovation or risk (in terms of design) involved. I think your idea of the Windows logo is great and I agree, I'd love to see some of the Microsoft products that are simply mind-boggling (Surface, etc) instead of just boxed products I can buy on Amazon.

I noticed it's all laptops (and possibly netbooks) there, in the concept shot. Guess they're aren't giving desktops any love.

Although in that picture of Windows 7, you see a few monitors...

Quikboy said,
I was wondering that too. Maybe these are old diagrams, and perhaps they'll be in the same area as the Xbox.

They have a Windows 7 display. Can't be that old.

I have heard that the layout they will be going for is based on layouts with other companies and how well they worked. MS is going to combine some features of the layout of the Apple Stores and a few other companies.

Now this layout looks better then the Apple Stores layout IMO. Granted this is just a draft. Not bad looking.

It's not so much that it's like Apple stores. Apple stores are just surprisingly generic in their layout, so it's difficult to avoid looking somewhat similar.

I mean, you go in, and you're in a product showroom. A little further in, and you get to accessories and tools. At some point either midway or toward the back is a service counter and cashwrap. Sound familiar? It's EVERY cell phone store EVER.

When it comes to technology, it's how you do it. The three above areas are the essentials of this sort of place, and the showroom would always come first--you want to immerse your potential customer in product. You keep service toward the back, because people who want it will look for it.

I mean, it'd make as much sense to criticize MS for copying Apple by wearing shoes on their feet.

How about one in Norwich, UK....................come on we got Starbucks for god sake, now I need a nice shiney MS keyboard in a show room to spill my Venta Vanilla Latte over...............

Me too, I'd love to mess with that, and when it gets cheap enough buy one. Dunno how i'd use it, but who cares at this point.

I can't wait to pop my WinMo phone down on the Surface. I'm soo gonna live in that MS store the first day it opens. That Surface is gonna have me hooked for a while

Pam14160 said,
Need a list of locations. Don't think there will be one choose to me. . .Hooterville, USA

haha sounds like an awesome city... everyone likes hooters.. probably even MS

rm20010 said,
Brampton?

First set one up to counter Toronto Eaton Centre's Apple Store, then we'll go from there. :P

Yeah! =D I want to move to downtown Toronto, into a condo :P

FusionOpz said,
We don't need them idiots in Brampton polluting the interwebz that much...

...

As long as their employees have normal, professional sounding job titles. I still guffaw everytime I hear someone at an Apple store called a genius.

Akuma said,
Appears they will be called "gurus" (See Guru Bar).

Do they have to be that blatant in their copying of Apple? Haha. I like both companies, but come on now ... :P

Justin- said,
Do they have to be that blatant in their copying of Apple? Haha. I like both companies, but come on now ... :P

I think Gurus is a brilliant term for them - it makes them sound like they know their products

Calum said,
I think Gurus is a brilliant term for them - it makes them sound like they know their products :)

Yeah, I think its a good name. Since guru translates to "teacher" (I believe)