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Microsoft looks to force more retail competition with Apple

Two of the most recognizable brands in the computer world are Apple and Microsoft. The rivalry between the two firms goes back to the foundations of both companies and the current crop of commercials both firms are airing each attack the other.

Microsoft is taking the fight to venues other than TV with the announcement that new retail stores are coming and some of them will be in close proximity to Apple stores. The announcement came during a keynote speech at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 that was held on July 15. Microsoft COO Kevin Tuner said during the keynote that the company would be opening retail stores to take advantage of customer demand for products at the retail level.

A Microsoft Spokesperson wrote in a blog post, "As we progress on our retail strategy there will be scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple. We are on track to open stores in the Fall timeframe. Beyond that we have no additional details to share."

Turner is particularly well suited to the task of setting up a Microsoft retail presence. He comes from Wal-Mart stores where he started as a cashier and worked his way up to CEO of Sam's Club stores. Microsoft has also hired David Porter in the last few months, another retail focused executive.

When Porter was hired Microsoft said, "Defining the time frame, locations and specifics for planned Microsoft-branded retail stores will be Porter's first order of business. The purpose of opening these stores is to create deeper engagement with consumers and continue to learn first-hand about what they want and how they buy."

EWeek quotes Turner from the WPC 2009 event saying, "And we're going to showcase this opportunity of Windows simplicity, choice, value, and partners. And stay tuned, because we're going to have some retail stores opened up that are opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall. Stay tuned, just stay tuned. "

"Every single thing we learn in those Microsoft stores that we put on the street we're going to share that openly and transparently with all of our retail partners so that they can do the exact same thing. And we're going to get that customer feedback directly. We're in the game for the long-term here. And I know something about retail, and we've hired and incredible team to do an incredible job on retail."

Turner also spoke at the conference about the Laptop Hunter retail ads that the company has been running. He pointed out that the ads are unscripted and are working. Evidence that the ads are putting pressure on Apple according to Turner came in the form of a phone call.

Turner says that Microsoft received a call from Apple legal saying, "Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices.' They took like $100 off or something. It was the greatest single phone call in the history that I've ever taken in business. I did cartwheels down the hallway. At first I said, 'Is this a joke? Who are you?' Not understanding what an opportunity. And so we're just going to keep running them and running them and running them."

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RE: Would these retail stores include...
By SublimeSimplicity on 7/16/2009 2:49:43 PM , Rating: 5
Go ahead and mock them...

I can tell you that after hooking up my monster cables, I had never seen 1's that were so 1-like and the 0s... ohhh the 0s. You haven't truly experience binary until you've tried a monster cable.

RE: Would these retail stores include...
By Souka on 7/16/2009 3:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
Look around on the net for real analysis/reviews of HDMNI cables side... I"ve never read a REAL review that says a $200 on a 10ft HDMI cable is better than a $20 one.

But...I do sure see a lot of people saying otherwise..typically with a comment like, "Are you crazy? That $10 HDMI cable sucks! You have to buy a $150 monster cable if yuo want quality..." etc etc

Anyhow... whut does HDMI have to do with MS stores eh?

RE: Would these retail stores include...
By Souka on 7/16/2009 3:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
Oh..but I do clearly believe you're a LOT more likely to get a defective $10 6-ft hdmi cable than when you buy a $30 of same length... same goes for $100+ for a monster or equiv.

At my work we dropped $90 for a few 10ft HDMI cables for our projectors hooking to our laptops... I recall the packaging saying they were rated as "ruggidized"..which is good since people at my work tend to abuse things...

Image quality was no different than the uber-cheapo $5 HDMIs we were using

By Mitch101 on 7/16/2009 3:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
Souka! Souka! Hey your replying to yourself and were making fun of expensive cables at retail outlets that are sold to unsuspecting consumers. Its ok sarcasm sometimes gets lost in post translation. But go get that replying to yourself addressed.

By Mitch101 on 7/16/2009 3:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
I noticed you said monster cables. Not monster ultimate cables so you might as well use wire hangers your cables are so lame. You've been served geek squad style times infinity google!

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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