is hoping to open the store on October 22, the day Windows 7 launches
or within a few days of that date if all go well. When Microsoft
first announced it would be opening retail stores earlier this year,
it said that the stores would be next
door to Apple retail locations.
So far, that isn’t as
accurate as Microsoft may have hoped. The Arizona location is not in
the same area as an Apple store. Microsoft also plans to launch a
store in Mission Viejo, California and it is in the same mall as an
Apple store at least.
Microsoft's David Porter, corporate VP
of retail stores said, "Our customers have told us they want
more choice, more value, and better service, and that's what we'll
deliver through our Microsoft Stores."
The Arizona store
is also a short drive away from a Best Buy store, one of Microsoft's
most important retail partners. Analyst Stephen Baker from NPD Group
believes that retailers have to get over worries of competing with
suppliers. He says, "Everybody is in everybody's space."
Wall Street Journal reports that by owning its own retail stores
Microsoft will have more control over how its products are marketed
to consumers. The stores will also allow Microsoft to have more
seasoned and knowledgeable associates to explain new technology and
products to consumers.
Laptops and computers won’t be the
only things sold in the stores. The most visible feature in the
Arizona location reports eWeek is a 96-inch screen that
shoppers can use to play Xbox 360 games.
Acer's U.S. VP Sumit Agnihotry isn't
worried about the competition form Microsoft stores against other
retail partners. He says, "I think an environment like the
Microsoft stores will allow us a little more real estate to try new
The Microsoft stores will also have a help
counter where consumers can get technical assistance with Microsoft
products when needed. Apple does this with its Genius Bar in its