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Microsoft also plans California location soon

Microsoft is fighting to get into the retail market with its own stores to battle rival Apple. Microsoft is now set to open its first retail location in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Microsoft 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."

The 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 things."

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 retail locations.

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Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By reader1 on 10/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By putergeek00 on 10/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By amanojaku on 10/16/2009 10:25:30 AM , Rating: 5
It's a Stargate address. That's where MS is hiding its PC R&D lab.

By therealnickdanger on 10/16/2009 2:44:20 PM , Rating: 2

Pure awesomeness right there.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By jonmcc33 on 10/16/2009 3:07:50 PM , Rating: 2


RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By ViroMan on 10/17/2009 8:49:42 AM , Rating: 2
made of pure win

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By AssBall on 10/16/2009 10:25:44 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure. I've always liked MS brand peripherals.

This could be also be an opportunity for them to wedge into the market for additional self branded hardware, like PCs.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By Yaos on 10/16/2009 10:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
Unlike Microsoft, Apple gets to decide who can make the hardware that Mac OS runs on. I don't think having a monopoly on hardware is a reason to buy from them.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By tuhaggis on 10/16/2009 10:27:32 AM , Rating: 3
Perhaps it will be value that attracts people to a Microsoft store instead of an Apple one. Not everyone feels they need to pay the extra cash to have a unique product. Just because something is unique, does not make it better. It's just different.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By reader1 on 10/16/2009 10:34:30 AM , Rating: 4
Apple's stores are boutiques. People don't go to boutiques for value, they go to Walmart or Frys. A boutique focusing on value is pointless.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By amanojaku on 10/16/2009 11:23:57 AM , Rating: 5
In other words, Apples have no apparent value other than being fashionable, which means they are no better than non-Apples. Thank you for confirming what we already knew.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By Fenixgoon on 10/16/2009 2:04:29 PM , Rating: 3
a friend of mine got a new MBP after the lcd on her previous laptop (HP i think) crapped out. One comment on it (from another friend and also mac owner) was that they're just so aesthetically pleasing.

Not gonna deny that, but that's not on my list of "needs for a laptop" but I guess it makes a difference for some =P

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By bryanW1995 on 10/30/2009 6:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
why would your friend "get" a manbearpig b/c of laptop problems? If I was in close proximity to one of those suckers I'd run like hell!!

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By Spivonious on 10/16/2009 10:52:03 AM , Rating: 2
Meh, I don't think MS would profit from selling PCs. What would they use to set themselves apart from the multitude of other OEMs?

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By DarkElfa on 10/16/2009 2:13:46 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe they could offer an MS branded PC that uses premium materials and artistic design like Apple but not charge far more than its work like Apple. I'd be willing to buy one. All the benefits of Apple without the greed and control freakishness.

Or the Jobs-sucking freak show of a religious fan club. How long do you think it will be before someone straps on a vest of exploding iPhones and runs into a MS store and screams "For Steven!" and blows them all up...or at least severely burns himself.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By Yawgm0th on 10/16/2009 11:16:10 AM , Rating: 4
These stores won't have the same appeal as Apple stores
Let's just leave it there and call it a day. I would never have any reason to go into an Apple store, but I can at least see the appeal for some people. I don't with a Microsoft store.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By Ristogod on 10/16/2009 12:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
The Zune HD is reason enough to warrant a competing store against Apple. The device beats iPod junk in every way that matters.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By QueBert on 10/16/2009 5:46:37 PM , Rating: 1
Well, except the screen looks HORRIBLE in the sun, it's not available in a 64 gig model and has no real app store, and will never have an app store that's as good. Oh yeah, the UI's also not customizable and it cannot play DiVX or OGG. OHHHH yeah and my Touch has about 50,000 accessories I can buy for it. The Zune HD has like 2. But to be fair in a year I'm sure 2 will be up to about 11.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By Omega215D on 10/17/2009 5:17:48 AM , Rating: 2
The OLED screen helps lower power consumption and color reproduction. Most people will leave their player in their pockets when outside in the sun or if they need to can just angle it away and it'll be fine.

Yes it could use a 64GB model but I'm sure it's on its way.
The UI is not customizable? I have an iPod Touch (tried living with an IPhone) and I don't recall it's UI being customizable, not as much as my Cowon S9 anyway. The ZuneHD will have accessories available (there are more than 2 out, troll) but at least it has better sound quality than the iPod Touch or any iPod for that matter. Even with a flat EQ the Zune has more bass punch to it without sacrificing highs and mids while my iPod Touch makes my electronic music collection sound too flat and pushing any sound enhancement will cause the music to fuzz or distort. I'm not a snob I just expect to get what I paid for in an audio player that costs $100 - 300 with headphones to match.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By carniver on 10/16/2009 12:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
I hate this apple=identity s**t. I thought identity is through diversity, yet apple is obviously against that diversity with their monopoly. By taking it all upon themselves and making couple generations of the iPhone all looking nearly identical , and all their Mac computers with the same exterior design, all apple users are no different from each other.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By teng029 on 10/16/2009 6:56:55 PM , Rating: 3
then don't buy anything from them. there you go problem solved..

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By QueBert on 10/17/2009 1:22:50 AM , Rating: 2
I personally love my 1 gen iPhone, to me I don't see they could make it look any better. So there's no reason to change it since they got it right the first time around. There still isn't another phone IMHO that looks as good as the 1st gen iPhone.

RE: Microsoft needs to make a PC.
By teng029 on 10/16/2009 6:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
evidently you haven't heard of this product they make called the xbox 360. you don't think that device will be the centerpiece for the microsoft store?

Genius Bar?
By jbwhite99 on 10/16/2009 1:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
I remember at one point, these stores were going to have a genius bar equivalent. I am hoping that whatever poor souls work at the MS genius bar are supplied with lots of aspirin!

RE: Genius Bar?
By Pirks on 10/16/2009 5:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
Genius bar in MS store is a bad idea. What if customers start asking questions about "why my Gateway doesn't boot Windows" and stuff like that? How can MS genius bar guy know what the heck is going on with OEM hardware? There's gazillion of OEM PC configurations out there and even more driver versions. I feel that most used answer in these genius bars may be "sorry, we don't support your configuration" or something.

It's easy to do genius bar stuff in Apple store where everything is Apple made, including hardware, but MS will drop this idea. The sooner the better.

RE: Genius Bar?
By Headfoot on 10/18/2009 8:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that it will definitely be difficult for someone to have to deal with the huge variety of software.

But don't confuse how Apple certifies and uses other people's hardware with creating it themselves. They don't make their processors (anymore) nor do they make the ram, the video card, the hard drive , the motherboard... etc etc. They only make a chip that is then put on the motherboard by Intel when Intel makes it. That chip just certifies that its Apple and lets OSX run.

RE: Genius Bar?
By Headfoot on 10/18/2009 8:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
-- one more thing. When they did "make their processor" it was actually IBM making it with more input from Apple, whereas its now just an Intel processor with no input from Apple (aside from contact in the regular course of business)

todays chuckle
By kattanna on 10/16/2009 11:21:20 AM , Rating: 2
The stores will also allow Microsoft to have more seasoned and knowledgeable associates to explain new technology and products to consumers

thanks for that. i really needed a morning laugh.

RE: todays chuckle
By Reclaimer77 on 10/16/2009 2:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
So how is that APPLE + or Apple Networking + Certification working out for....

oh wait, that's right.

RE: todays chuckle
By HrilL on 10/16/2009 4:27:20 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure they'd be better than the morons at best buy

Showrooms vs Retrail Outlets
By Cookoy on 10/16/2009 6:06:53 PM , Rating: 3
i like to go to stores that let you have a hands-on experience ("playing") with the notebooks, like looking at Device Manager and Experience Index screens, looking at webcam resolution and response, opening notepad to try out the keyboard, sensing for unusual heat (specially on the palm rest), looking at what software are pre-installed.

it would be nice if microsoft stores also have demo PCs (whatever the brand they choose) loaded with various software. you can launch them and see what's in store. that would be fun. and you can even peek at how things are configured, get basic guidelines on how they were setup, etc. i'd visit them a lot. But if all i see are shrink-wrapped boxes of their software or other accessories (keyboards, mouse,...) on the shelves, then they offer no particular advantage vis-a-vis other stores.

RE: Showrooms vs Retrail Outlets
By dark matter on 10/17/2009 4:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely need a "hands on" experience in an MS shop. You're spot on.

Interestingly it was a well balanced and thought out post, which probably explains why it is as the bottom of the posts. All the flame war stuff is well above you.

From now on I shall be reading these threads bottom up.

When they put the stores in the malls...
By Motoman on 10/16/2009 9:50:59 PM , Rating: 3
...can they put the MS store right by the Bose & Apple stores, so I can bypass all 3 at once?

By QueBert on 10/17/2009 1:25:43 AM , Rating: 1
piss poor idea, because when Apple launches any new product they'll have people camping out for 2-3+ days just to be one of the 1st to buy the new shit. MS would have 2-3 people camped out an hour before the launch to buy whatever new shit they put out. Wouldn't look good for MS ;)

Apple-centric hardware?
By MustangMike on 10/17/2009 2:37:35 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that Microsoft adding a Apple like help desk to their store is nothing more then what the Geek Squad already does. The only difference would be that you would have to give them your credit card info before even talking to a Microsoft representative. lol

While everyone is comparing Microsoft to Apple...
I'm a PC gamer, I use both Linux and Microsoft OS. While I can see why people would use a Mac to do photo/video editing, it's not great on gaming. Apple used to make their computers with Mac Certified hardware. I remember looking at computer parts years ago and seeing Mac certified hardware, not so much anymore. The issue with PCs is not that there's so many variations of hardware it's the software that's the problem!

Correct if I'm wrong but Apple doesn't use Motorola G5's anymore they use INTEL CPUs. The new Macs are basically using PC hardware with Mac OS.

RE: Apple-centric hardware?
By overzealot on 10/18/2009 7:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
Apple never used Motorola G5's.
The G5 macs used IBM PowerPC 970 series(PowerPC G5) chips.
They started using those in 2003, and transitioned to Intel CPUs in 2006.

anyone remember The Federated Group?
By johnsonx on 10/17/2009 3:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
ok, let's all get in our Way-Back machines...

Atari purchased the Federated Group, a small-ish chain of audio/video retail stores in the US, so as to have a retail outlet for its computers here. Naturally, Atari didn't sell Commodore computers through it's stores (why would they?); as far as I recall, the only computers Federated sold were Atari computers, and they made no special secret of the fact that Federated was owned by Atari.

Commodore of course didn't like that much, so they sued Atari to force them to also sell Commodore computers. To the surprise of many, Commodore won, and Atari was forced to sell it's primary competitor's product in it's own stores.

It would be amusing to imagine Apple suing Microsoft to force their stores to carry Apple products. Apple could argue that by selling only Microsoft products in it's stores, Microsoft is abusing it's near-monopoly position in the market. Apple probably wouldn't try such a thing, and it probably wouldn't fly if they did.

I think one of the key points in the Federated Group case was that the stores weren't called Atari Stores or Atari Group, so Commodore claimed customers had a reasonable expectation of seeing a selection of computers in the stores. Commodore was of course fighting the good fight to protect the consumer... hah hah hah. That argument wouldn't work now, for the obvious reasons.

So, I admit there's not much chance of anything similar happening now, but I think its an interesting bit of history anyway.

By johnsonx on 10/17/2009 3:56:43 AM , Rating: 2
Strange, after I wrote the above I was curious to see what I could dig up about it with a few google searches. The result? Absolutely nothing. Plenty of mentions that Atari bought Federated in 1987, sold many of the stores to Silo in 1989 and closed the rest shortly there-after. Atari regarded the whole ordeal as an expensive mistake. However, there was not a word about Commodore suing or doing anything at all in relation to the Federated Group.

Sorry. I vividly recall the story I related was going around at the time, but I guess it was nothing but a rumor or myth. I have a memory of some people in a Federated store, maybe even Federated employees discussing it as if it were fact. I *think* Federated did sell Commodore computers after Atari purchased them, so perhaps this rumor was concocted to explain why (and at the same time paint the evil commodore as even more dastardly than before).

Let the lashings commence.

Great Idea
By DotNetGuru on 10/16/2009 7:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
This could be very cool. Imagine a bunch of machines with a variety of software installed that people could test drive. We could see how video editing performs on a given hardware configuration or try out the new version of Expression Studio. I know there's a bunch of applications I'd like to check out, but I'm just too lazy to pirate them. =)

People could see for themselves that that some cheapo IGP notebook isn't going to be enough to play newer games, and see the difference in a higher-end system first hand. I know this is mostly for selling the software and platform, but I could imagine some hardware manufacturers wanting in on this action.

As for the issues with the tech support having to deal with 3rd party systems, in all reality, most people that have problems with their PCs are having the same types of problems that are easily fixed/avoided with a little common sense and education. (enable updates, get AV/spybot/etc, don't download happyFuntimeGlitterToolbarEtc)

For more serious problems they could say --> "if you need to reinstall your OS anyway, why not start fresh with Window7" --> $$$

RROD on my PC?
By sintaxera on 10/17/2009 8:21:38 AM , Rating: 2
I have always liked MS PC accessories, and love my 80g zune and subscription. Vista is just as OK (not great) as XP was when it first came out. But if MS made a laptop or PC I would stay the hell away.

RROD on my PC? It would probably be more likely than you think!

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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