Apple may not be Microsoft's biggest concern in retail

Microsoft's expansion into the retail arena may be a more difficult endevour than Apple faced when it opened its own retails stores back in 2001, according to Nick Wingfield of The Wall Street Journal.

This isn't due to lack of products or store locations, but the potential for Microsoft's stores to hinder relationships with its existing hardware and retail partners.

Wingfield told the Journal, "While Apple had fewer potential business conflicts because it had such weak support from retailers when it opened its first store in 2001, Microsoft depends on existing partners in the retail business that could be threatened by the company's expansion into their turf."

Steven Baker, an analyst with NPD Group, believes that Microsoft has nothing to be concerned about. "Everybody is in everybody's space" he told the Journal. However, Microsoft appear to be playing it safe, preparing hardware and retail partners by being vocal in the media on their plans to enter the retail arena.

It's clear that Microsoft's aim in opening retail stores is to make a large dent in Apple's growing market share, even going so far as to hire ex-Apple Store staff and former Apple retail executive, George Blankenship, to take Apple head-on.

Apple is preparing for the onslaught, having started renovations on a number of existing Apple stores, and commissioning an advertising campaign that aims to mock the upgrade process from Windows XP to Windows 7, Microsoft's latest and soon to be released operating system.

Microsoft plans to open its first retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona around the launch date of Windows 7 on October 22, 2009.

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How soon people forget that two of Microsoft's largest product families run on Macs.

In fact, Apple lists the ability to run Windows and Office on a Mac among the top reasons to "switch". Therefore, Microsoft should feature Macs running Office:mac and Windows in their store along with Mac compatible hardware. This would attract more customers than taking a "PC-only" approach.

Forget Vista, it's freaking stable. I'm so tired of all this bad-Vista hype. But rather, everything works normal for me and there is no complaints.

Well, file this one under obvious... The only question is how much might this impact the other retailers bottom lines? That's what Microsoft needs to worry about, because the more it impacts their bottom lines, the less shelf space Microsoft products will get and Microsoft stores might not get the foot traffic these other retailers get...

It will be curious to see.

Apple is being hypocritical as always, mocking the difficulty of upgrading an 8 year old architecture into a modern one, such as Windows 7. If MS was like Apple, they would mock when Apple users could NOT upgrade from OS 9 to OSX, only TWO years apart, or from one minor revision to another such OSX 10.2 to 10.3, just ONE year apart, or from Tiger to Panther, less than TWO years apart. Apple mocked Vista, which is a plumbing release with mayor architectural changes SUCH as OSX Cheeta, which was 'barely usable', frequent crashes and couldn't even play DVDs. Apple fans are so forgiving to the fact that Steve Jobs told them in 2000 that their expensive 2 year old hardware was totally useless and would not run OSX and if they want it, they just need to buy a whole new computer. They also continue to forgive that only after 4 releases of iPhone they finally have features other phones had for over 7 years, like GPS, cut and paste, MMS, etc. and still iPhone can't do simple things like allowing multiple apps to run concurrently, or saving attachments or other files into the memory. And yet they keep buying a new one every year. It must be true that over 60% of Apple users earn over $100K a year, they must have money to waste. But the ironic thing is that 84% of all apple users also have a Windows PC. LOL

I'm living in middle class and I have an Apple Airport Extreme as my wireless router. Why? It is the ONLY ONE THAT IS STABLE in its class, I bought 3 D-Links only for them all to fail on me. I agree the computers are mostly priced because of the name, but the OS itself is damn well nice aside from that Snow Leopard deleting files bug (in your terms feature). People don't care about what happened then, they need to know NOW. But people can be stupid too and buy without knowledge, thinking they are safe from viruses. Viruses and Spyware come from user stupidity, not on their own.

Windows ME was terrible I will say that as I've seen a few. I reinstalled XP on them provided the people paid for the license and they have never been more pleased they said thats how it should have been. Now Vista is regarded as similar since it has been flamed on by the idiots working at the media. It is the hardware manufacturers which screwed up the rep hint hint Nvidia, Broadcom, Creative Labs, etc. but the OS isn't that bad. Think Win2k=Vista and Win7=XP in modern times.

and commissioning an advertising campaign that aims to mock the upgrade process from Windows XP to Windows 7

I know some sections of the world want Vista to have never happened, but the fact is that it did. So shouldn't they be mocking the upgrade to the latest Windows from the previous one and not the one two releases back?

Maybe MS should commission an advertising campaign about how upgrading to Snow Leopard and logging into the guest account will trash all your data.

But that wouldn't happen because (love em or hate em) MS talk up the qualities of their own products rather than just knocking that of their competitors. Apple need to grow the hell up or just quit the computer business altogether and stick to their mp3 players and phones.

Actually theres lots of business that stayed with XP and consumers too. But business mainly have more reason to jump to Mac OS X because there dropping XP completely soon, support and everything =0.

I'm assuming that they'll be making fun of the length of time it takes to upgrade from XP... The upgrade from Vista is too easy, so it's harder to make fun of. They'll probably be very vague about what version they're talking about upgrading from as well...

Classic Apple...

M_Lyons10 said,
I'm assuming that they'll be making fun of the length of time it takes to upgrade from XP... The upgrade from Vista is too easy, so it's harder to make fun of. They'll probably be very vague about what version they're talking about upgrading from as well...

Classic Apple...


Yep. I went from XP to Vista (as soon as I could) and then from Vista to Windows 7 (beta - RC - RTM). It was quite easy, however, I'm not an average PC user either.

jkldf said,
Actually theres lots of business that stayed with XP and consumers too. But business mainly have more reason to jump to Mac OS X because there dropping XP completely soon, support and everything =0.

Oh yeah, THAT'S a valid reason to completely switch platforms.