The Microsoft Store….Epic Fail or the next big tech-thing?

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It has been quite a while since I visited our local mall. I was on my way to see if the Apple Store had the latest Apple TV available for purchase and was surprised to see this monstrosity…..

…..a massive billboard announcing the new Microsoft Store spanning nearly three storefronts in length. The billboard is masking their new store within. I thought it humorous that it is located only three doors down from the Apple Store.

We are very lucky in the greater Seattle/Puget Sound area to have five Apple Stores to visit. Over the years, I have been to all of them at least once and many others throughout our region while on travel.  I have frequented the two closest countless times. I cannot remember a visit to any Apple Store when it was not bustling and more often than not, somewhere between hectic and insane.

My question to you is: do you think the Microsoft Stores will even come close to the energy, atmosphere, and hype of its Arch Rival?

21 thoughts on “The Microsoft Store….Epic Fail or the next big tech-thing?”

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  2. > do you think the Microsoft Stores will even
    > come close to the energy, atmosphere, and
    > hype of its Arch Rival?

    I sure hope not. Atmosphere? Our local Apple store is B.O. city. I’m not kidding. My wife refuses to go in — customers are packed in like sardines and you can hardly move.

  3. Most people brag about the landmarks or great cities they’ve visited. Fanboys brag about which and how many Apple stores they’ve visited. I love the internet!

  4. I’d be interested to see if my local mall gets one. There’s a SonyStyle store right next door to the Apple store already, so MS is out of luck getting that close to Apple.

  5. No, not at all, but for a very simple and obvious reason – by far the majority of people purchase Apple products from an Apple store. With PC’s, there are quite literally millions of stores selling Microsoft products all around the world – with a Microsoft store competing with all of these.

  6. Didn’t they already have a Microsoft store somewhere already? They made their employees dance to some song whenever it comes on the speakers much like how they do it at Johnny Rockets. Plus those MS employees wear the classic MS color tshirts too.

  7. I don’t want a Microsoft store. And neither do I want an Apple store. Those stores are *way* to expensive, and for some odd reason they’re always crammed with customers. That applies to our local Apple shops, but also to the shops from T-Mobile, Vodafone etc.
    When I want a new device, I shop at independent websites: a lot cheaper, often better stocks, delivered to your doorstep and no competing with other customers for the “luxury” of being able to buy a product at all.

  8. I think a Microsoft store is a long time coming and as usual Micorosft should have done this earlier. However, I am concerned. You did say it was taking up the length of 3 windows, 3 windows open at the same time and there maybe problems. Maybe they will half the size of the store, or one windows will be blue with white writing on it.

  9. It will never work for Microsoft the same as for Apple. Microsoft does not have the same quasi-religious enthusiasm that Apple receives and therefore doesn’t need any temples.

  10. Microsoft has made a habit of shooting themselves in the foot… repeatedly. Then going public about it and humiliating themselves even more. They will realize the horrible mistake of trying (again) to copy Apple the day the hype wears out and they’ll be left with an empty, expensive store, populated by bored employees waiting for their coffee break only to go play with the ipads at Apple’s.

  11. I think it will be interesting if they get a few Kinects set up in the stores. That could drive a lot of traffic their way for a while since most people are curious about how well it works. Focusing on Xbox may be the best thing they can do. Having Surface set up might get people in also. No one can buy it but allowing the public to see some nice tech can remind people that MS can sometimes do interesting things. Good PR never hurts.

  12. I do wonder how they can pull off a Genius Bar. With so many hardware and software combinations it will be very difficult.

  13. I think they will have WP7 devices is there and that will most likely be the main attraction. I can’t to see what happens.

  14. Robert McLaughlin

    With the release of Windows Phone 7, I think Microsoft has a chance of creating some interest in their stores. The XBox 360 proves that Microsoft is capable of creating mass-market devices on that “just work”. Windows 7 is another success. With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has an opportunity to tie all these consumer devices together in new and innovative ways. A Microsoft store which sells all types of Windows 7 phones/tablets could succeed.

  15. @Robert,

    I think you may be right, in respect to the Windows 7 phone that will come out. But the other draw to the Apple stores are not just the iphone / ipad / ipod / but also the computers and laptops. People go in there to buy an Apple laptop or desktop. How many people will go into the MS store to buy a computer or laptop. The reason this is relevant is the fact that Microsoft does not have a “one” brand laptop made by Microsoft. You can go down the street to your local brick and mortar store and buy a Windows Laptop. So the MS store will have to focus its energy on the W7 Phone, xbox, Zune and maybe a tablet if they make one. I think it may be too little too late. But I am one for competition and that will not stop me from Entering a Microsoft store, if only for a brief moment!! 🙂

  16. @Ryan
    A lot of people also go to the Apple store to kill time and play around with the devices. What percentage of people in the Apple store do you really see walk out with any purchase, let alone some hardware? The stores are mainly one big interactive ad for Apple and their products. MS can do OK with limited sales at the stores if it drives people to buy an Xbox, some games, a WP7 phone or even a laptop somewhere else. Showing the products and letting people play with it can be very valuable.

  17. Creating and operating a retail environment is very expensive, and many stores can barely generate enough profit to keep their lease. I worked at Sony Style for a while, and every employee hated apple so much. When I asked why, they gave me every reason except for the real one, which was their obvious jealousy that the adjacent mac store was packed with people and generating record profits. Our store was failing, and we relied heavily on extended service plans and add-ons to keep us operating. Sony as much as they try, can not sell a computer at the same price point as a mac. Its not because of the hardware they use, its because its running windows. You can’t sell a windows laptop for the same price as a mac, because its not worth it. People can refute this as much as they’d like, but I’ve witnessed the numbers and its obvious.

    The microsoft store will be well designed, and have many different arms (xbox, windows mobile 7), however like the sony store, they will rely on services to generate profit, not quality products that are worth your time.

    And… the store will be ugly since everything is 3rd party, and Microsoft branding has no character.

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