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Microsoft stores to mimic Apple's with "Guru Bars" - Page 2

post #41 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

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?"

"SORRY WE NO LONGER SUPPORT XP PLEASE BUY WINDOWS 7."

"SORRY BUT YOU DON't HAVE THE MOST EXPENSIVE VIRUS PROGRAM-CAN't HELP YOU"

"YOU HAVE TOO MANY FILES ON YOUR COMPUTER. MAY I ERASE SEVERAL THOUSAND?"

"HAVE YOU TRIED THE CIRCULAR WIZARD YET? LETS TRY THAT FIRST AND SECOND AND THIRD AND..."

Good luck Ball Mur heads.
post #42 of 169
Groan. Not again.

This company makes me weep. So much money, so little talent.
post #43 of 169
Looks like Monkeyboy Ballmer is finally gettin' into character. Monkey see, monkey do.
post #44 of 169
Good grief! The Guru bar is going to bankrupt M$. Ever tried calling their tech support?
post #45 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceres View Post

Good grief! The Guru bar is going to bankrupt M$. Ever tried calling their tech support?

Yes:

NEW DELI: "Thank you for callling Microsoft, my name id Harry. Can you tell me your Windows 72 digit number?"
"I can help you wid dat. Let me see, you said you can't log in and you have no internet. Is dat correct?"
"Good. Have you tried to down load a newer version of IE?"
"Please don't get upset. I told you I can help you wid your problem. Would you mind going over your problem once again. Perhaps you might have left out a minor detail dat could be important....hello?....hello?"
post #46 of 169
The name Microsoft...

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I bet they stole that too along with CP/M and Mac OS.

You MUST have heard the old joke? Here's an approximation in any case...



Q: How did Microsoft get it's name?

A: Ask Mrs. Gates.
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post #47 of 169
I have to believe that the Guru Bar is a joke.
That is, MS has no intention of having such a thing in their stores (where you can't actually buy anything except a Xbox and a mouse).
post #48 of 169
post #49 of 169
You mean to tell me that the gazillions of computer owners who MS telephone techies turn away because their version of Windows is OEM will be welcomed by the guru bar? They will not have enough gurus or bars to handle that deluge.
post #50 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by jplevine View Post

Talk about running scared. Words almost cannot describe how badly this will backfire on M$.

I couldn't agree more. It will fail. I give it a year tops.

Um, didn't Sony try the same thing? And fail?

My god, can't Microsoft come up with anything original?
post #51 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

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"??

Well said my friend.
"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
"Those who would give up essential liberties to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither." -Ben Franklin
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"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
"Those who would give up essential liberties to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither." -Ben Franklin
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post #52 of 169
Just great a Microsoft store that employees sixteen year old kids and declares them to be genius without any formal training. While at the same time having nothing to sell as they wont even endorse their own OS "Reminds me Bestbuy..."

Sounds more like a false propaganda nonprofitable commercial space to me

Well keep wasting your money MS. Hopefully you can post a lose next quarter instead of just a decline. I dont hate MS i just wish they would find their focus some time soon.
post #53 of 169
The government put out health warnings from second hand smoke... They need to put out second hand warnings from MS from the second hand stores (to the Apple store), second hand guru bars (to Apple's Genius Bars), second hand Zune mp3 players (to Apple's iPod), second hand The Social music store (to Apple's iTunes Music Store), second hand Windows 7, Vista, Windows (insert year here) all the way down to 95 (to Apple's OS pick any version), second hand advertising (remember Apple's Switcher campaign and MS had that Mac user switch to PC and MS used a stock photo for the girl), second hand X-Box (to Playstation and Wii), second hand Aero (to Mac's Aqua), second hand Search, Internet Explorer, Mail, Calendar (to appear more Mac like), second hand phone (you know they gotta have one coming out soon along with their second hand WinMo Phone OS), second hand... well, you get the picture.

Either that or Apple should produce a MS Hunter's ad, where someone goes out searching for Microsoft but all they find is a company with products and other enterprises that come out after some other company innovated it, backed it with R&D money and brought it to life (for the people that say Apple didn't originally do this or invent that etc., true, but before Apple did it, it probably was crap and not worth mentioning!)

So which is it folks? The government second hand warning or the Apple MS Hunter tv ads?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #54 of 169
Now I know exactly what to tell people that went against my advice to purchase a Mac: GO TO THE GURU BAR at the Microsoft Store--here are the directions--they will fix all of your woes.......

Then once you come back completely flustered and angry, we'll sell this hunk of junk on ebay (unfortunately for pennies on the dollar), and get you a real computer.

Just remember I told you this would happen.

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27" iMac 2.93GHz | 17" MacBook Pro 2.8GHz | Mac Mini Server 2.5Ghz
16GB iPhone 4S | 16GB iPad (1st gen) | AppleTV
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post #55 of 169
What a bunch of whiners working overtime to look smart and funny.

Don't you guys have anything better to do with your Macs?
post #56 of 169
It is a lot of fun having a crack at M$. I have enjoyed the comments which all have some foundation in reality if they tend to the hyperbolic.

However, I would add that M$ is looking to defend what it already has. It wants to take away some of Apple's edge in public perception etc.
The stores will be bad mouthing Apple stuff, showcasing top end >$1000 PCs like the Dell Adamo, to take a little sheen off the cool Apple kit, and helping people migrate to Win7 etc. If it can take a few MBA or MBP sales away from Apple, it is probably a job well done.

It probably can't be profitable for M$ directly, but it can slow the Apple train, take something off the halo and do something that the individual PC makers with their pitiful margins can't afford to do for themselves.
post #57 of 169
Didn't Gateway have little stores like this years ago? I think they all failed pretty huge.

So unless Microsoft actually offers a MS machine, aren't they just selling software? How do they pay rent for all of these store fronts if they don't sell anything. It seems like a lot of money to be spending on physical advertising.

If MS offers a free service or service for a very small fee, they may have something here. Even if it isn't as extensive as Apple's service, simply offering hands on help with installing software, upgrading operating systems, etc. could spark a lot of interest. I gotta think MS does not like the image that comes with fixing a PC.

Apple computer breaks, you bring it to an Apple Store where a trendy looking guy behind a counter takes a look at your machine, makes you feel good about buying it, fixes it, and sends you on your way.

PC breaks, you bring your computer to Best Buy where a guy wearing a polo shirt that says "Geek Squad", khaki pants, and white tennis shoes takes a look at your machine, laughs at the amount of RAM you have, speaks in a condescending tone to you, fixes it, gives you a big ass bill, and then suggests that you look into buying a new computer.

If nothing else, this might help give Microsoft a better image. I've said too much.
post #58 of 169
The interior looks like an immersive Flash advertisement. Super!
post #59 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by jplevine View Post

Talk about running scared. Words almost cannot describe how badly this will backfire on M$.

Strategically, it is very bad for a market leader like MS (read 90%) to acknowledge a small competitor. This will only help Apple. There are 100 times more places to buy a PC than there are to buy Macs. Let's name a few: Radio Shack, Best Buy, Walmart, and Fry's. Let's not forget the omnipresent Dell online and oh Gateway.

How is this going to help MS? MS does not make the computer so when a person has a problem they have to contact their OEM and deal with their warranty issue with Gateway, Dell, or HP. Out-of-warranty then the Geek Squad might help you for some $$$ or just get a new system for about the same price.

The Apple store is the synergy of the hardware manufacturer with the customer. They service the hardware and the software. I don't see how MS will do that unless they are wanting to compete with the Geek Squad and even then will all the different manufacturers they cannot give the same level of service to the customer's satisfaction like Apple can.

Good luck MS. I'm an Apple user to the end, but I'm rooting for you to succeed. Who knows, maybe MS will buy Dell and then the game will be really on.
post #60 of 169
If Microsoft were smart, they would use the Guru bar to better understand what the Windows user experience really is. Could be that they would learn a lot from this and improve their products. If only there was someone at MS that's actually interested...

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #61 of 169
If they really want to generate Apple-esque lines around the block, they should offer free Vista to XP downgrades.
post #62 of 169
MS IS DEAD. Simple as that.
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post #63 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

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".

OMG! I'm am dying over here...
post #64 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

The Guru Bar. I guess they couldn't use "Brainiac Bar" because the Simpson's already nailed that one!

Not Simpsons; Superman!
post #65 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post

It is a lot of fun having a crack at M$. I have enjoyed the comments which all have some foundation in reality if they tend to the hyperbolic.

However, I would add that M$ is looking to defend what it already has. It wants to take away some of Apple's edge in public perception etc.
The stores will be bad mouthing Apple stuff, showcasing top end >$1000 PCs like the Dell Adamo, to take a little sheen off the cool Apple kit, and helping people migrate to Win7 etc. If it can take a few MBA or MBP sales away from Apple, it is probably a job well done.

It probably can't be profitable for M$ directly, but it can slow the Apple train, take something off the halo and do something that the individual PC makers with their pitiful margins can't afford to do for themselves.

I tend to agree with you Capnbob, but still think this effort may be doomed.

- Are they prepared for the immediate comparisons to the Apple Store?
The press will give them hell for ripping off Apple again and likely gloss over any unique features

- Will Wall Street accept a loss leader on this scale?

- Hardware sales will be a real problem
If they do sell PCs they'll likely have to go with expensive premium models and sales will be low. This may turn off many customers. The Sony stores suffer from this. And why aren't they leveraging the XBox more? Or do they not want the gamer crowd?

- How will they take a mainstream product upscale?
Companies that have launched their own stores are generally at the high end - Sony, Apple, Nike. It's not easy to go up-market.

- Guru Bar is a disaster waiting to happen
As has been well stated by others, Windows suffers from much greater support issues than do Macs. Viruses, spyware, driver issues, etc can be a real nightmare. Setting up a support area may only invite angry/unhappy customers into the store.
post #66 of 169
Shouldn't it be, just a bar I mean, you'd have to be drunk, or want to be drunk, to use a PC (at least after using it, and pulling out your hair). Maybe

- Bar for dummies
- Open Bar
- Bar-none
- Barred
- Broken Bar
- Wet Bar
- Closed Bar
- Bar Closed (after 1st customer who can't be helped)
- Bar This (with a photo of Michael Jackson grabbing his crotch)

Hell for good it will do them, they might as well call it "Roseanne Bar", at least it should get a few laughs.

Skip
post #67 of 169
Quote:
What can you say about this?
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".

'Creative bankruptcy.'

Well said. A scorching damnation of the company who is a creative desert of ideas.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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post #68 of 169
"Sorry, sir, it appears to be a hardware issue. Take it up with the manufacturer."
post #69 of 169
The Highest form of praise is Imitation.

Next week it is expected that Mr Balmer will hold a media event announcing and presenting MicroSoft's new concept for their upcoming stores. They may as well go whole hog and claim it all.

I am an Apple user and the surprising thing is I am not angry at this. I just know this organization is a parasite on society and the industry. The question is will they succeed killing their host or will their host take steps to control this parasite.

Respectfully submitted
HT
post #70 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

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".


I believe that this looks more like an analysis of the Apple Store and what makes it successful and effective. Hence, they actually include photos of Apple Store components.

Microsoft may be able to work a good store solution, but as long as it is not a retail store, it will not be a success. Merely creating good will is virtual salesmanship. A Genius Bar copy will be much more messy, as it seems lately Apple has been creating things in such a way that cannot be mimicked.
post #71 of 169
Microsoft's marketing department is a ham-fisted PR time-bomb. I can't recall all the gaffes, but I do remember one time when Microsoft was promoting Windows or Office, and included a coupon for free mouse pads. The promo was highlighted by an overly attractive model showcasing the mousepad on a pillared pedestal, but the problem was that she looked like a porn star in heat. The next month, they had the pedestal and pad minus the lady.
Any stories you'd like to share?
post #72 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

"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.

post #73 of 169
Now all those CompUSA "Tech" employees will have somewhere to go for work. You know, they were so knowledgeable too.
post #74 of 169
Can i ask a question. IF the microsoft store matches an apple store why is it that you guys bash the microsoft store and not the apple store.

My personal opinion is that this could help microsoft i na big way. The number one complaint i get as a pc tech outside of work is about not having a store to go to for help (i dont mean best buy).

But my main thing is why are you guys being hypocrites about this?

Ps I thin kthe Microsoft surface and Project Natal being in every store could be one advantage over the apple stores.
post #75 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksbrain View Post

Very original.

Yah. Free prize to anyone who can remember when MS had an original idea...
post #76 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post

Can i ask a question. IF the microsoft store matches an apple store why is it that you guys bash the microsoft store and not the apple store.

My personal opinion is that this could help microsoft i na big way. The number one complaint i get as a pc tech outside of work is about not having a store to go to for help (i dont mean best buy).

But my main thing is why are you guys being hypocrites about this?

Ps I thin kthe Microsoft surface and Project Natal being in every store could be one advantage over the apple stores.

Do you really think the MS store guys will actually OPEN UP a computer and diagnose a hardware problem? And then FIX it?
Oh, maybe on a Zune or Xbox.
post #77 of 169
Idjit Bar?
Where does Microsoft find these people?? It takes real effort to be so unoriginal.

"Guru" was really associated with Indian religions - possibly offensive? Then with what O/S did it become associated? Unix!!
post #78 of 169
This is unbelievable . . . has Microsoft ever had a truly original idea?




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.

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 #79 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post

Yah. Free prize to anyone who can remember when MS had an original idea...

microsoft bob?
post #80 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post

Yah. Free prize to anyone who can remember when MS had an original idea...

Yeah, Microsoft BOB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Bob
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