Microsoft to open stores – what the …?

Word on the interwebs is that Microsoft plans to open it’s own chain of retail stores. Is this what it will look like? The MS fake retail store. Other than Xboxes and Zunes what else could MS sell in these stores? The Apple Store model works because Apple’s product lineup is slim and end to end.  On the consumer PC side of things other people make the hardware that MS’s software runs on. So how is that going to work? Will there be featured ‘partners’ vying for the coveted spot in the stores? MS has lots of products in their catalogue – items that you probably have not have even heard of. Maybe this will be an opportunity to see these products in action. That’s one reason the Apple stores are successful – opportunities to demo products before you buy. Apple also has a strangle hold on street prices. No matter where you go – the Apple store, big box retailers or local dealers, the price is the same. PC’s and MS products are priced competitively and just walking across the street can save you $50.

 MS wants the consumer market  but they don’t know how to get there. It’s not part of their DNA. And MS is not part of consumers DNA – too many choices are available in the market and consumers will seek them out. At best, MS products – Windows, Office etc. – are tolerated by consumers. Apple on the other hand has a strong loyal fan base that will buy their products no matter what other options are available.

There are lots of reasons why this won’t work. MS has demonstrated with their past actions and activities that there are some things they just don’t do well. And this could just be another one. Most likely it will be a big waste of time and may last two years before it shuts down with a clearance sale.

I could go on and on, but I won’t – there’s lots of others doing that…


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