There is some leaked info regarding the Microsoft stores which are scheduled to open in the fall of 2009. Many pundits and industry folks think this is hilarious and doomed to failure (MS had a store in San Francisco that bombed years ago). A common opinion is that instead of emulating Apple (or Google, or – the list goes on) MS should stick to what made it rich and famous – software. Let’s not forget that MS is a multi-billion dollar enterprise composed of many separate billion dollar entities. When you are that huge, you can pursue many different opportunities. Some work, some don’t. While we can laugh at them cloning Apple stores, or going after Google with MicroHoo and Bing, the fact is they also have some solid and far reaching products and services which anyone who touches a computer these days is impacted by.

We will not see a MS store in Red Deer and that you can pretty much count on. At present we don’t even have an Apple store and probably never will. Although there were rumors that Mosaic (Apple’s outsourced retail marketing partner) was going to bring us an Apple store within a big-box store (I won’t mention the name but the initials are F&S) it doesn’t look like they completed the deal. BTW: Red Deer does have some great Apple retailers and Apple fans, but a dedicated store just isn’t financially viable.

On the other hand there are some great MS business partners here in town and those types of VAR’s and integrators are what steadily fuels MicroSoft’s billion dollar operation. Products like the Zune and Microsoft Press and their foray into retail store fronts are a pleasant and relatively harmless diversion. Unless you are a MS stock holder, but that’s another story.

Dean

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Advanced Systems

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