or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Microsoft stores to mimic Apple's with "Guru Bars"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Microsoft stores to mimic Apple's with "Guru Bars"

post #1 of 169
Thread Starter 
A leaked presentation has exposed Microsoft's tentative plans for its retail stores -- and the high degree to which they'll imitate Apple stores, down to their layouts and even the presence of a dedicated "Guru Bar" for help.

A leaked proposal for Microsoft from design consulting firm Lippicott immediately provides hints of an Apple connection with a bright, open layout where the center and edges of the store are dominated by computers showing the "seamless" link between Windows PCs and peripherals. Themed areas would push specific products, such as home theater PCs, netbooks or Windows Mobile and Zune devices.

On closer inspection, though, the influence becomes at times extremely close. The reference store seen by Gizmodo would have a Guru Bar -- in some slides labeled as an Answer Bar or Windows Bar -- that would directly copy the Genius Bars at Apple stores and let customers make appointments either for help or just to ask questions. The number of products would be kept to a minimum to avoid the confusion present in stores where most Windows PCs are sold today. Microsoft's outlets would even revive the theater component that Apple has mostly tossed aside: an "event space" at the back of the store would provide a dedicated screen and seating for training sessions or social events.

Lippicott isn't shy about where it takes its cue and shows the positive experiences it sees in other major, if not always successful, retail brands. Apple is held as the best example for its branding, simple layouts, and enthusiastic staff, but others aren't quite treated so kindly. Sony stores are criticized for "uninformed" staff and poor layouts, while AT&T and Nike are also docked for certain weaknesses.

Customers could even set aside parts of the store for paid private events, such as custom group training or, oddly enough, birthday parties.

The standard PC tables at the proposed Microsoft store design. | Image credits: Gizmodo.

A Guru Bar at the tentative Microsoft store. | Image credits: Gizmodo.

Lippicott's positive view of how the Apple store concept could benefit Microsoft. | Image credits: Gizmodo.

Where Microsoft would differentiate itself is in the technology behind the shopping experience. Instead of static graphics, a giant store-length display would advertise new products and change with the season or with major launches. Not surprisingly, multi-touch Surface tables would be omnipresent to give shoppers demos of certain experiences, and customers could order computers online or even print custom notebook decals at the store.

As the extensive document isn't necessarily representative of Microsoft's final action plan, it's undetermined just how much of this experience would actually reach the finished stores when they open in the fall. The slides indicate that the store arrangement may be intended for flagship stores and, by extension, could be scaled back for smaller locations. However, they do corroborate previous reports that the stores will be showcases for Microsoft's ideal vision of computing rather than a store meant to move as much product as possible.

Company executives have previously sworn that the stores wouldn't echo Apple "in the long term" and that the future shops would serve as incubators for ideas other retailers could use to improve their own stores. All the same, the new presentation shows that, at least in the short term, visitors to Apple's shops will find more than a few similarities in what Microsoft plans to offer.
post #2 of 169
Very original.
There's no there there. But, I'm working on it.
Reply
There's no there there. But, I'm working on it.
Reply
post #3 of 169
1000 points to the first person who takes a Mac there, gets a picture of the salesmans face and uploads it here!
post #4 of 169
Talk about running scared. Words almost cannot describe how badly this will backfire on M$.
post #5 of 169
It's going to be fun watching the various hardware vendors whining how its competitors are treated better. This has the potential to get really ugly for MS.
post #6 of 169
If you can't beat 'um...
MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

If you're a troll and you have been slain. Don't be a Zombie.
Reply
MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

If you're a troll and you have been slain. Don't be a Zombie.
Reply
post #7 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A leaked presentation has exposed Microsoft's tentative plans for its retail stores -- and the high degree to which they'll imitate Apple stores, down to their layouts and even the presence of a dedicated "Guru Bar" for help.

Wizards.. recycle bins.. guru fucking bars?! What's with these clowns? Can't they live in the real world and have tash, help and geniuses? We know they won't have the genius loci.
post #8 of 169
Well, the Guru Bars should at least guarantee they will always have
a big crowd of people in there.
post #9 of 169
I wonder if the Guru Bar would appreciate someone bringing them a Macbook Pro with Windows XP installed on it looking for their help!
post #10 of 169
The one thing Apple has going for it is the fact that what you see in the stores is what you get no matter who you buy your Apple computer from. Apple controls the hardware and the software loaded on each Apple computer, Microsoft can't do this.

The customer experience for people at the Microsoft stores is going to be OK but when they buy something from Dell, Compaq, HP, Toshiba, Sony etc. etc. its going to come loaded with bloatware, ever PC maker has its own way of configuring their PCs differing from the next PC maker and it most likely won't be what the customer saw at the Guru Bar, thus the Guru Experience is going to bomb.

Microsoft just can't seem to figure this out and its not likely they are going to. I have no doubt the stores are going to be filled with laptops and desktops that are not the "better values" they show in there commercials so again the PC buyer gets his $500 laptop from Best Buy and goes home to something slow, large icons because the screen resolution is poor and once again, the experience bombs.

Microsoft is great at copying other companies ideas but they never understand why. I see apple having fun with more of their own commercials in the future making fun of the Guru Experience.
post #11 of 169
Anybody remember that Far Side cartoon about equine medicine? I understand the Guru manual is similar, only instead of "shoot it," it says "reboot it" as the solution for everything.
post #12 of 169
This "concept" is a 100% copy of an Apple Store! Oh, gee, they changed the labels and use different typefaces. How original. Even the design of the tables is nearly an exact copy.

There are simply NO words to describe the pure and utter creative bankruptcy that Microsoft represents.

Who would actually go into one of these stores? And why?

Retail tech support? Wow what a concept. Except the MS Stores will have to fight off angry crowds.

I think the "Guru Bar" concept needs some razor wire, machine guns and attack dogs. Maybe a few no-neck Russian Mafia types lurking around or crowd "control". (In Bulgaria they call them mutra.)

My vision is of the New York City car towing place on the West Side, where you go to get your towed car. Everyone calmly lines up at the "teller" window to pay their fines and bail out their cars. But literally, EVERY person that goes up to the window suddenly yells at the poor bastard behind the bulletproof glass (it IS NYC!), launching into the vilest, funniest string of expletives and rancor you could ever imagine. If you weren't so goddam pissed off standing in line, you'd be laughing your head off, instead of waiting your turn to spew venom!

I'd say that'll be the "Guru Bar".
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
Reply
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
Reply
post #13 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Well, the Guru Bars should at least guarantee they will always have
a big crowd of people in there.

Yeah, the torch and pitchfork crowd!
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
Reply
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
Reply
post #14 of 169
The Guru Bar. I guess they couldn't use "Brainiac Bar" because the Simpson's already nailed that one!
post #15 of 169
Guru? Does that mean they will spout mystical claptrap instead of practical advice?

"Sir, my mouse isn't working. What should I do?"
"First, my son, you must journey to the Himalayas, and seek a man named..."
post #16 of 169
This makes you believe the last original thought this company had was the word "microsoft" itself.

MS Guru Bar Application

Name _________________

Age _____ Gender ______

Do you own a Zune?____

Spell "DLL"_____________
post #17 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by L255J View Post

I wonder if the Guru Bar would appreciate someone bringing them a Macbook Pro with Windows XP installed on it looking for their help!

I'm actually going to try that.
post #18 of 169
make sure I'm not eating when you post something that funny. Now I gotta clean the milk off the screen. Worth it though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L255J View Post

I wonder if the Guru Bar would appreciate someone bringing them a Macbook Pro with Windows XP installed on it looking for their help!
post #19 of 169
MS is SO pathetic. Cracks me up when they talk about "innovation". They haven't got an ounce of it. Should be fun watching these things suck more money from their coffers as the stock continues it's downward slide.
post #20 of 169
The line of people with $400 PCs and no clue, lining up at the Guru will be miles long ... "Why does Internet Explorer say I am not connected to the internet yet iTunes can connect?"

My bet is Ballmer will be fired in 2010. Personally I hope I am wrong ... he is wonderful for Apple.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
post #21 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

This makes you believe the last original thought this company had was the word "microsoft" itself.

MS Guru Bar Application

Name _________________

Age _____ Gender ______

Do you own a Zune?____

Spell "DLL"_____________

I bet they stole that too along with CP/M and Mac OS.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
post #22 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

The line of people with $400 PCs and no clue, lining up at the Guru will be miles long ... .

And not to mention the myriad of hardware to have to deal with. I would imagine that'll be a tough and thankless job. I wonder what customer satisfaction will be like? I've always had a good experience when I've visited an Apple genius.
post #23 of 169
Do these numbnuts have ANY original thoughts of their own??

All that alleged R&D . . . where is all the money going??
post #24 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

It's going to be fun watching the various hardware vendors whining how its competitors are treated better. This has the potential to get really ugly for MS.

Imagine MS asking each vendor to provide one laptop or desktop candidate to be considered for display. Each vendor will submit their best system, which will cost as much as a Mac. Either that or MS will have to display the $400 PC garbage and try to explain to customers why they are getting problems those system. My advice to MS is to use MacBook Pros and iMac with Windows running using Boot Camp

I can't wait for Apple commercial where PC is dressed like Mac
post #25 of 169
Fail.

There will be so many caveats as to what they will answer questions about that it will be alienating to the public. (certain models, certain OS versions, items bought there, etc.)

This will drive customers into the nearby Apple store.

But I am looking forward to meeting the enthusiastic staff.
post #26 of 169
as are all of the other features that they seem to have copied BUT
How do you monetize these stores ?

What are you going to actually sell?

Apple stores have the largest sales dollars per sq ft of ANY retail outlet.

What does MS have to sell that will make these stores profitable ?

I can see it now .

My Acer is broken under Windows ...... Sorry we as MS do not support that hardware
Please call Acer .......NEXT LOL

So much for customer service at the Guru Bar
post #27 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

There are simply NO words to describe the pure and utter creative bankruptcy that Microsoft represents.

Seriously. Microsoft simply has no shame.

Apple=Microsoft's R&D department.
post #28 of 169
Does MS really think no one will notice they ripped off Apple? These idiots in Redmond never think ahead.
post #29 of 169
Microsoft did not rip off Apple. One is Guru. The other is Genius. Two completely different words.

One starts with a "G", the other starts with.....forget that.

One has 4 letters. The other has 6 letters.
post #30 of 169
Yes, I can see the future. Here it is; PC Gurus spending their time showing the new users switching from Apple to PC, how to avoid spyware and viruses.

What the hell is PC experience anyway? Experience what? Whose computers will they showcase? Deadly Dell, Ugly HP or Expensive Sony?

And may be they can order computers. From who? May be from more than hundred PC assemblers out there. Yea right! These guys are a joke.

When will Ballmer admit that he is not tech guy? Here is another way for Microsoft investors to see their stock go down. Sell now and leave your misery behind, a perfect advice to Microsoft investors.
What we witnessed today in the stock market with Microsoft stock is a trend that will never cease.

I can't wait to see the line on the opening day of the first store, for the new PC Experience!
post #31 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

Retail tech support? Wow what a concept. Except the MS Stores will have to fight off angry crowds.

I think the "Guru Bar" concept needs some razor wire, machine guns and attack dogs. Maybe a few no-neck Russian Mafia types lurking around or crowd "control". (In Bulgaria they call them mutra.)

My vision is of the New York City car towing place on the West Side, where you go to get your towed car. Everyone calmly lines up at the "teller" window to pay their fines and bail out their cars. But literally, EVERY person that goes up to the window suddenly yells at the poor bastard behind the bulletproof glass (it IS NYC!), launching into the vilest, funniest string of expletives and rancor you could ever imagine. If you weren't so goddam pissed off standing in line, you'd be laughing your head off, instead of waiting your turn to spew venom!

I'd say that'll be the "Guru Bar".

Jeff, your vision is so perfect, so spot-on it had me literally splitting myself laughing. I have been to the West Side towing yards, and it is a sign that you are having the worst day of your life. (Like having to talk to a 'guru' about windows). Thank you for your razor sharp insight into this dull and inane Tomfoolery that is Microsoft Retail. There's benchmarking your competitor and then there's just ripping someone off. Do these MS execs feel at all bad that they wasted their parents' money on college? Did they study for their tests or just copy off the guy next to them to "get by." What a joke and an embarrassment to American innovation.

Jeff, you rock man!!
post #32 of 169
1. Oh no Whats the GEEK SQUAD going to do....
2. If we are weeks away from Windows 7 how come the stores are not ready.. I assume you would want them on lunch
post #33 of 169
Wasn't "The Love Guru" the biggest flop ever for Mike Myers?
post #34 of 169
M$ are once again seen as followers, not leaders.

It's a crying shame that it's come to this, but MS's lack of forward thinking is exactly what's turned me to Apple. I see no reason at all to go back. Personally I cant wait to load Snow Leopard, but I'll probably trade up to a new Macbook Pro at the same time.

Sell your stock in MS - they're quickly becoming a dinosaur...
post #35 of 169
this is simple. the guru bar will explain that the solution to any problem is to buy a copy of windows 7.

your hard drive failed? a new hard drive [with windows 7 preinstalled] will fix that. video card issues? you need a new video card compatable with win7, and we can upgrade you to win7 with that. start key broken? upgrade to windows 7 and get a keyboard 20% off.
post #36 of 169
An Apple customer usually approaches a genius bar for trivial things, the occasional failure, transferring data from an old Mac or (PC) to new Mac, and general questions. Usually can be resolved right then and there by an enthusiastic and competent staff that genuinely love what they do and believe in the products Apple sells.

The "Guru" bar on the other hand will be staffed by clueless wannabe hackers working at minimum wage with zero customer service skills and be expected to fend of the herds of angry, frustrated PC users with machines infested and corrupted with viruses, malware, trojans, corrupted registries, driver conflicts, and all other kinds of nasty instabilities. And they will be expected to resolve those problems while the customer waits.

What Microsoft would like for you to believe is that they will be there for you in the long haul to help with your problem. The reality is that MS will (again) realize they went way over their head, and the Guru bar will be shut down due to high costs and few results. I work on the side resolving PC / Windows problems (I'm a systems engineer) for frustrated friends and users that just could not get the kind help they needed. Even with my experience, there is no way whatsoever anyone could pay me enough to work behind that desk. Poor workers will be going into the lion's den every day. The turnover rate will be high, morale will be low and in the end, it will become more a liability and will result in really bad PR. Microsoft will silently close the stores and when questioned, will be referred to as an "Experiment".

All those hundreds of millions of dollars MS spends on advertising and this is the best they could come up with? Put the entire Apple store into a huge Xerox machine and press "Copy"??
post #37 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Guru? Does that mean they will spout mystical claptrap instead of practical advice?

lol - too funny!
post #38 of 169
Where will they find any gurus? If you are an expert in Microsoft stuff, you certainly are not a guru in computing, more an aguru - one who is unenlightened. Here's an original thought for Microsoft, why don't you set up Yogi Bars? Mmmm, perhaps that would be a boo boo too!
post #39 of 169
Guru: "Welcome, how can I help you?"

Customer: "Hi! Yes. The Wizard tells me that I'm connected but it won't connect when I launch IE."

Guru: "No problem, let's have a look."

Customer pulls out a MacBook.

After having recovered from the chock, Guru recomposes himself and with a sly smirky face tells the customer, "I'm sorry, but we do not support MAC."

Customer: "No, you don't understand, it's Windows that I'm having a problem with."

Guru: "Yes, but that's MAC."

Customer: "I know, but it's running Windows."

Guru: "Sorry, we can't help you. Would you like to take a look at our cost defective, crhummmm, cost effective PCs?"

post #40 of 169
"where the center and edges of the store are dominated by computers showing the "seamless" link between Windows PCs and peripherals"

These guys should write for Conan.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Microsoft stores to mimic Apple's with "Guru Bars"