Quite frankly I can't wait for the new Microsoft store to open in the ritzy Domain. And before you go off and call me a Microsoft hater, please note that this presentation was built in PowerPoint(tm).
view the presentation full-screen on Slideshare.net: Microsoft Retail Story – Why?
Okay, before we get into all the exciting things Microsoft might have in their store… We need to stroll back in history a bit.
- Did Microsoft Windows ripoff the Macintosh GUI interface? YES. (Legal courts: NO. Global Public: YES Did Jobs see the mouse and the pull-down menu somewhere else, yes…)
- Did Microsoft kill Netscape by giving away the browser and internet server tools? YES.
- Did Microsoft try and kill Java in every way possible? YES. (See why IE sucked so bad. And how IE was written to kill Java)
- Did the Zune copy and fail at replicating Apples iPod success? YES. (see also: Dell DJ and Dell Ditty)
- Is the world a better place because WINDOWS still rules the majority of operating systems? NO.
- Does Bill Gates' humanitarian efforts give Microsoft a pass for it's major transgressions in the tech world? NO.
- Is the X-Box awesome. SORT OF. (Cool tech: YES. Making money for Microsoft: NO.)
- And let's not even talk about Windows VISTA or Windows MOBILE. No, let's not talk about those.
So what's "in store" for us at a spankin new Microsoft Retail Store in a swanky outdoor mall in Austin, Texas? Here's the Facebook page: Microsoft Store
According to Microsoft's own Facebook page the mission of the store is to provide "your source for the hottest new technology and best in personalized service."
Oh wait, so you mean, MSFT is opening up a Genius Bar-like place where people with Windows problems can go to fix things? (The mere thought of this makes me laugh. Um, what are they going to do with the lines of people?)
Okay, maybe they are not going to try and copy THAT part of the Apple Store. So what will they have?
According to their facebook page: Windows 7 PCs, Windows Phone, Xbox and Kinect. (Again, I think they need a copywriter.) Man, I bet people are going to be lined up to catch a glimpse of that awesome new OS… Oh wait, you said Windows 7? Oh, maybe the Facebook page isn't up-to-date. And aren't the Xbox and Kinect, kinda the same thing?
So what exactly is going to be in the store to provide the fun? Again, on Facebook they say "Our interactive environment makes shopping for your technology easy and fun." Oh, so it's going to be like Best Buy but online? Or are you going to have the bazillion Windows-enabled manufacturer's computers on display?
Judging from Dell's pre-launch release promotions, I'm guessing Dell is going to pay a pretty penny to show up next to Apple's store in the same swanky outdoor mall. But does Dell have the margins to support such an expensive retail experiment? Didn't Dell try this on their own, once before. And Gateway before them?
So what's going to make people go into a Windows… Oh, I mean, Microsoft Store in the first place? To catch a glimpse of Windows 7? Um… Maybe not. To see and demo an Xbox and Kinnect? Um, sure, but… that's available at Target too. So how is Microsoft going to bundle all their technology up and make it FUN? SRSLY? Fun?
Well, my hat is off for the attempt. But I have a single stat to share with the masterminds behind this silly experiment, that's been going on since Oct. 22, 2009. Apple Stores have one of the highest return-per-square-foot of retail space in ANY retail business. And Microsoft sells what? I'm sure Dell and HP and Nokia and everyone else hedging a few of their bets with Microsoft's upcoming METRO or Windows 8 will pay top dollar to show up in the store next to Apple.
Without the retail return to fund this little store, however, the sky-high rent is going to come crashing down on their shiny Windows 8 logos before they are installed. (When does Windows 8, ship again?)
Hat's off Microsoft, welcome to Texas. And welcome to Retail. It's a brave new world and licensing and advertising muscle won't do much to save a silly concept. (Side note observation: When was the last time you walked by an Apple Store and it wasn't full of people? What are those people so dang excited about?)
Well, at least we could catch a glimpse of a legend Dallas Cowboy or a kick ass country/rock band. (When is Windows 8, shipping?) And heck, maybe everyone will forget how evil Microsoft has been in the past. Maybe.
Next up: The Google Retail Store Launches and Sells Only Marketing Data
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