What Happened To The Microsoft Stores


rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
Good question. The original stories said they would open a few last fall and several in early 2010. To my knowledge, they have only one.
 

lostless

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2005
347
6
I've been to the only one (it's not far from where I live) and it looks almost like an apple store. It's pretty neat with LCD screens around the entire store, edge to edge so they make 1 giant screen. As far as product, they have the xbox 360 corner right when you walk in to the left with a 50 in TV and a recliner, couch and coffee table. The PCs they sell are just generic PCs. Didnt get a good look, but they are mostly top of the line. They have the Zune table. The neat things there are the table top touch screens. Look like gigantic Ipod touches on a table top. They have few games to play like chess, checkers, a painting program and Micosoft Earth. In the back, they have the "information Bar".

The employees dress just like apple store employees. Jeans with a solid Tshirt. The only difference is the windows logo vs. an apple logo. Whats funy is right after the MS store opened, Apple closed the Apple store for 3 weeks to refurbish the store. Now the MS store looked really like the old apple store, but now the new Apple store looks more like the MS than it did before. It's like watching the war between Apple and MS at my own local mall. Even the entrances look the same with just the windows logo over the entrance with a giant glass wall.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
They clearly copied Apple, just take out the "successfully" part.
Yeah and Apple didn't copy anyone when they opened. Hell, they poached retail execs from Target and the Gap.
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Yeah and Apple didn't copy anyone when they opened. Hell, they poached retail execs from Target and the Gap.
Uh, I've never seen a tech stores look like Apple's stores, except when Microsoft copied them years later.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
Really? Open plan stores with light wood floors with big tables full of merchandise. The Gap did that in the 80s.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,223
2,248
Sunny, Southern California
Really? Open plan stores with light wood floors with big tables full of merchandise. The Gap did that in the 80s.
Not the one's by me, in southern california don't look like that? Of course I wasn't shopping at them in the late 80's either.

Target? Open, come on now, it is pretty damn crowded. Not Wal-Mart crowded but crowded. Even when you go to there tech area it isn't even remotely close to what Apple has.

Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying Apple invented retail. However they do have a distinct look to their retail section. Microsoft also has a very very similar look to them, almost to the point of coping them.
 

xIGmanIx

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2008
839
0
Please look for these little know stores called the gap, replace their clothes with comuters, and put some dorks in colored T's and you have an apple store

Uh, I've never seen a tech stores look like Apple's stores, except when Microsoft copied them years later.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
Not the one's by me, in southern california don't look like that? Of course I wasn't shopping at them in the late 80's either.

Target? Open, come on now, it is pretty damn crowded. Not Wal-Mart crowded but crowded. Even when you go to there tech area it isn't even remotely close to what Apple has.

Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying Apple invented retail. However they do have a distinct look to their retail section. Microsoft also has a very very similar look to them, almost to the point of coping them.

I said they poached executives from Target, not store lay outs.
 

Surely

Guest
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
This is the most recent article I could find about Microsoft Stores:

Apple exec slams Microsoft stores, netbooks. It's from February 23, 2010.

An excerpt:

Apple's Cook says MS afraid of retail commitment

Apple chief financial officer Tim Cook took shots at Microsoft's retail stores today in his presentation at Goldman-Sachs' Technology & Internet Conference. The executive indirectly accused Microsoft of being afraid to actually launch a real retail effort and said Apple's original plan in 2001 was a commitment to selling products to customers, not just a vehicle for an experience.
Apple retail is "not a pilot, not a test," Cook said, referring to Microsoft's decision to limit its initial plans to just one store each in Arizona and California.

Microsoft has always viewed its shops as trials and, in the past, has said it would pass on much of what it learned about PC and smartphone sales to other retailers to improve their own approaches. Most of the current Scottsdale and Mission Viejo designs nonetheless directly imitate Apple's aesthetic design and Genius Bar section.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
They clearly copied Apple, just take out the "successfully" part.
Huh, so now Apple has a patent on the concept of a building where customers can exchange money for a product? :rolleyes:

Steve Jobs breathes. Is Bill Gates copying him every time he breathes too?

Remember Gateway Country stores? :eek: :p
Why yes I do. My family got our first computer from a Gateway Country store. The layout and design was very similar to Apple Stores, and this was back in the 90s, long before the first Apple Store opened. I guess Apple copied off of Gateway ;)
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,040
65
Plymouth, MN
Huh, so now Apple has a patent on the concept of a building where customers can exchange money for a product? :rolleyes:

Steve Jobs breathes. Is Bill Gates copying him every time he breathes too?
That is overly simplifying things - MS made it well known that they were using the exact same approach that Apple used, like utilizing "gurus" instead of "geniuses". Even their layout and approach is really close to what Apple does

Heck MS even said that they were going to open right next to Apple stores. That is far more overt.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
That is overly simplifying things - MS made it well known that they were using the exact same approach that Apple used, like utilizing "gurus" instead of "geniuses". Even their layout and approach is really close to what Apple does
And the only difference between an Apple Store and, say a Best Buy or Micro Center is that Apple keeps the stock in the back rather than on a shelf under the display model. Other than that, the layout of any computer retailer is going to be similar.

Heck MS even said that they were going to open right next to Apple stores. That is far more overt.
So? It's competition. Here, we have Targets next to Wal-Marts; Home Depots next to Lowes; AT&T stores next to Verizon stores which are next to Sprint stores; and until they closed, Circuit Citys next to Best Buys. By my house there's a Shell next to a BP and two local competing grocery store chains within a mile of each other on the same street. My dad bought his car at a Mazda dealer which is between Audi and Dodge dealers and across the street from a Ford dealer. It's called competition. If you want to compete with somebody, you do it in their backyard, not across town.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,040
65
Plymouth, MN
And the only difference between an Apple Store and, say a Best Buy or Micro Center is that Apple keeps the stock in the back rather than on a shelf under the display model. Other than that, the layout of any computer retailer is going to be similar.
Except you are wrong. I know for a fact that Best Buy and Micro Center utilize stock rooms in the back. You are missing my point entirely.
 

Surely

Guest
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
So? It's competition. Here, we have Targets next to Wal-Marts; Home Depots next to Lowes; AT&T stores next to Verizon stores which are next to Sprint stores; and until they closed, Circuit Citys next to Best Buys. By my house there's a Shell next to a BP and two local competing grocery store chains within a mile of each other on the same street. My dad bought his car at a Mazda dealer which is between Audi and Dodge dealers and across the street from a Ford dealer. It's called competition. If you want to compete with somebody, you do it in their backyard, not across town.
I understand the point you are trying to make, and I agree with it, except I have never seen a Target next to a Walmart, a Best Buy Next to a Circuit City, or a Home Depot next to a Lowes. Perhaps they'd be in the same general area (in a 1-3 mile radius), but built right next to each other? That's a bit of an exageration.

The gas stations and car dealerships absolutely group themselves together right next to, or across the intersection from, each other.

Apple didn't invent their style of retail store- they just enhanced it made it work really well.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
I understand the point you are trying to make, and I agree with it, except I have never seen a Target next to a Walmart, a Best Buy Next to a Circuit City, or a Home Depot next to a Lowes. Perhaps they'd be in the same general area (in a 1-3 mile radius), but built right next to each other? That's a bit of an exageration.
If not next to each other, in the same strip mall with only a few stors in between. And yes, in some cases, next to each other. Don't believe me:

Building on left is Home Depot. Building on right is Lowes
Building on left is Wal-Mart. Building in between is a Dicks Sporting Goods. Building on right is Target. But they're walking distance from each other
Best Buy and Circuit City, street view link. Literally right next to each other
Another Target next to Wal-Mart. Not visible from Street View, but take my word for it, I only drive past this every day.

Except you are wrong. I know for a fact that Best Buy and Micro Center utilize stock rooms in the back. You are missing my point entirely.
Well, duh, they have stockrooms in the back for excess stock. But they generally have some stock out on the shelves so you could theoretically buy a computer without talking to a salesperson, if you can ninja your way through there and avoid the GeekSquad trying to sell you crap you don't need. Other than that, there's not much of a difference from the Apple Store. They have display models out, you play with them, and you buy them.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,040
65
Plymouth, MN
Well, duh, they have stockrooms in the back for excess stock. But they generally have some stock out on the shelves so you could theoretically buy a computer without talking to a salesperson, if you can ninja your way through there and avoid the GeekSquad trying to sell you crap you don't need. Other than that, there's not much of a difference from the Apple Store. They have display models out, you play with them, and you buy them.
Sorry, I misunderstood your point. However there are tons of retailers that do the same things with other products (not keeping them on shelves) - the ones that keep them out generally lock them down to prevent theft. That's just a different way to handle inventory.

ETA: Apple's approach to keeping computer boxes in back probably has to do with their layout and lack of aisles - its just not practical to keep lots of thousand dollar items out in an open store like that. For what it's worth Apple keeps lots of stuff on pegs and shelves. The iPods and iPhones are not (high theft and small - just like with other retailers) and computers.

However you are talking about how retail operates as a generality. That's not what I was talking about though. Yes, Apple does use some things common to many retailers - however there is more to that than meets the eye. MS specifically called out things that Apple did and said they were mimicking them. See my example of the Genius bar turned Answer Bar. Of course loosely speaking a support area isn't that unique, but MS seems to be targeting Apple's implementation of it. You look at it, the interior layout almost looks identical.

You can argue competition, but competing requires innovation, not just copying. Apple's stores are known for their uniqueness compared to other stores where possible.
 

theITGuy

macrumors 6502a
I understand the point you are trying to make, and I agree with it, except I have never seen a Target next to a Walmart, a Best Buy Next to a Circuit City, or a Home Depot next to a Lowes. Perhaps they'd be in the same general area (in a 1-3 mile radius), but built right next to each other? .
I'd agree with the Target\Walmart...but in my state is unusual not to see a Lowes on the opposite corner of a Home Depot :D

-J.-