This post was really started a while back, as I mused about why Microsoft would be opening a retail store in the most expensive mall in town: Microsoft Retail Store – REALLY? The Dream of a Windows World SERIOUSLY?
Yesterday, I went back to the MSFT store to return a gaming headset I'd bought my son for Christmas.
(Looking at the picture above, I am curious to know who exactly Microsoft is targeting with their enthusiastic color palette. The only Surface I have seen in the real world had the black and black. Anything else (I mean PINK or NEON ORANGE) would be a bit girlie for the professional world. Ah, teenage girls! Got it! Is that really the right demographic for Microsoft's innovative run into the the hardware market? I think it IS NOT.)
Interesting to see this sign placement outside the Apple store. But of course, in this story, Apple has the last laugh.
Here's the scene peeking in the Apple Store on my way to Microsoft. It's ALWAYS hoppin. What are people looking at? I guess there are still people who need to buy Apple products, and might want to touch them first.
So I'm walking to the Microsoft store and I'm thinking about what they sell.
- Windows and Office make up the bulk of their revenue.
- XBox has been a loss leader into the game console business.
- Windows phones (do they have a branded phone?)
I know, because I've been there, but what do you think is actually IN the MICROSOFT Store?
- A Windows Genius Bar
- An X-Box Showcase
- Lot's of Windows 8 Demos
- The Surface Tablet with the click-it commercials.
So, actually there's not much to walk out the door with if you're not looking for a true Microsoft product. (Need a new XBox? Wouldn't you get that online or at Target? Windows 8?)
What there is at the Microsoft store, is way to many helpful genius clones (right down to the hanging name badge) who would love to show you any number of computers that feature touchscreen technology and Windows 8. And they are really excited by the XBox. (I'm pretty sure this is the only real cool thing they get to talk about all day.) And they are, of course, Windows 8 evangelists.
I asked one of these sub-genius Windows helpers if I should upgrade my WIN 7 machine to Windows 8.
"Why? My Windows 7 is working great. It's finally stable."
"Well, there are some great things about Windows 8."
"Yeah, I'm not to excited about the Metro interface, will there be a performance boost or a performance hit for upgraded to Windows 8?" (This is with an i5 processor, I'll have to do that research myself.)
"Oh, it'll run great."
Here's what I ended up with after two trips to the Microsoft Retail Store.
And my return receipt.
REFERENCE: Apple’s MacBook Air is the most popular notebook computer in the world being sold by the biggest consumer electronics vendor in the world. The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s first piece of Windows 8 hardware that is launching at a time when Windows 8 needs a break. — BGR : Macbook Pro vs Surface Pro
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- The Problem with PC Sales: Dell's Christmas SALE, After Christmas SALE, New Years SALE
Most people don't really enjoy being mean; they do it because they can't help it. (from Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement)
And finally this little tidbit from Christmas holiday buying patterns.
From Redmond Pie. (Maybe they couldn't get the Surface connected to the Interwebz.)
And one more little tidbit, in case you are thinking X-Box is a good reason for MSFT to have a retail presence, here are some numbers on that.