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First Apple, Microsoft retail stores to face off in California

post #1 of 124
Thread Starter 
Microsoft plans to compete directly against an already-established Apple Store in Mission Viejo, Calif., as the Windows maker announced this week its first two planned retail store locations, scheduled to open this fall.

The company also plans to open a store in Scottsdale, Ariz before the year is out. Microsoft chose the two towns because they're "hot markets" with the right demographics, Kim Stocks, a corporate communications director at the company, told the Associated Press.

The retail locations will sell Microsoft software and first-party hardware, such as Zunes and Xbox 360 consoles. Third-party Windows software and Xbox games will also be available.

The Shops at Mission Viejo, where Microsoft intends to break into the retail game, already houses an Apple Store. But Scottsdale Fashion Square would be solely Microsoft territory.

Once one of the cornerstones of Apple's early retail efforts, real estate expert George Blankenship, has switched sides and is now providing advice to Microsoft on plans for its own stores. Blankenship is now consulting with the company for its planned retail endeavor.

Blankenship, in working for Apple, was aggressive in store placement. From 2001 onwards, he insisted on placing stores in high-traffic areas and frequently in locations that were considered upscale shopping districts. The original Tokyo flagship store, for example, was placed in the fashion district of Ginza rather than in the technology haven of Akihabara. Apple counted on the sheer volume of business overcoming any costs associated with running the store in such an expensive space.

Last week, Microsoft's tentative plans for its retail locations leaked online. It exposed that the company intends to imitate Apple stores, down to their layouts and even the presence of a dedicated "Guru Bar" for help.

The proposal, from design consulting firm Lippicott, includes 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.

The reference store would have a Guru Bar -- 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.
post #2 of 124
this will make a great plot point for Pirates of Silicon Valley 2!
post #3 of 124
Those answer/windows bars will have queues that begins outside the store
post #4 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Those answer/windows bars will have queues that begins outside the store

It will be interesting to see how many customers the Windows gurus will have to turn back because they can't fix the problem.

"Sorry, it's a hardware problem. Bring it back to where you bought it"
post #5 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Those answer/windows bars will have queues that begins outside the store

You took the words right out of my mouth. I would hate to see that support line. It doesn't surprise me one bit that MS is doing this. I guess they are kind of forced in a way to try something to stay afloat. Granted MS still has the majority of market share, people are learning quick of OS X. Couple more years and the playing field may be getting much closer.
post #6 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The retail locations will sell Microsoft software and first-party hardware, such as Zunes and Xbox 360 consoles.

I absolutely love that you can't buy your PC there. Best business plan ever. Though I'm sure they'll find a way to.
post #7 of 124
Odd locations to me, unless MS wants to be able to shuffle it under the carpet when it fails...
post #8 of 124
Suddenly I can't seem to get the odd couple theme music out of my head...
post #9 of 124
I live in this neighborhood, and I can tell you now that this is where Microsoft will die and be buried.

First, there is a Best Buy store nearby. This is the heart of Orange County. There are currently 4 Apple Stores with 15 miles, and the demographics in this area of the county is very rich. Man, many private schools, most using Apple computers. Kids around here spend their days surfing, skate-boarding, biking, hiking, and they make movies of these activities which of course are edited on Apple computers.

The fact of the matter is that I left my job about a year ago voluntarily to sell used Apple computers. My business which I run out of my house alone has exploded, earning over 10 times my former corporate salary. Here is the point; over 90 percent of people who purchase these used macs from me are first time MAC USERS. These converts are fed up with Windows PCs. They hate Microsoft with passion.


So all I can is this; Come on down to Orange County Microsoft to die and be buried. Mission Viejo Police department will have to work overtime to maintain order on the opening day, I can see it all now. Yea right. I promise to take the picture of the opening day and post and send it to AppleInsider so you guys can see how stupid this Microsoft idea is.
post #10 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft plans to compete directly against an already-established Apple Store in Mission Viejo, Calif., as the Windows maker announced this week its first two planned retail store locations, scheduled to open this fall.

The company also plans to open a store in Scottsdale, Ariz before the year is out. Microsoft chose the two towns because they're "hot markets" with the right demographics, Kim Stocks, a corporate communications director at the company, told the Associated Press.

The retail locations will sell Microsoft software and first-party hardware, such as Zunes and Xbox 360 consoles. Third-party Windows software and Xbox games will also be available.

The Shops at Mission Viejo, where Microsoft intends to break into the retail game, already houses an Apple Store. But Scottsdale Fashion Square would be solely Microsoft territory.

Once one of the cornerstones of Apple's early retail efforts, real estate expert George Blankenship, has switched sides and is now providing advice to Microsoft on plans for its own stores. Blankenship is now consulting with the company for its planned retail endeavor.

Blankenship, in working for Apple, was aggressive in store placement. From 2001 onwards, he insisted on placing stores in high-traffic areas and frequently in locations that were considered upscale shopping districts. The original Tokyo flagship store, for example, was placed in the fashion district of Ginza rather than in the technology haven of Akihabara. Apple counted on the sheer volume of business overcoming any costs associated with running the store in such an expensive space.

Last week, Microsoft's tentative plans for its retail locations leaked online. It exposed that the company intends to imitate Apple stores, down to their layouts and even the presence of a dedicated "Guru Bar" for help.

The proposal, from design consulting firm Lippicott, includes 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.

The reference store would have a Guru Bar -- 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.

The stores will fail of course and are nothing more than an opportunity for Blankenship to make money off MS.

But the real eye opener here is that MS is loosing its way in a big way this time around. It is going out of character and trying to compete with apple in apple territory. This shows that the company is in worse shape than I thought.
post #11 of 124
Apple should hire a Clint Eastwood lookalike dressed in "the man with no name" western garb and have a loud speaker playing that cemetery shootout scene from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly".

Waah, Waaah, Wah.... Wah, Waah, Waaaahhh

Then "shootout" some X-Boxes and Zunes and Windows 7 OS boxes...

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.

Reply
post #12 of 124
the store probably will not open on schedule knowing Microsoft.
This fall really means next fall.
But I think it's VERY smart that they're starting with only their own products. It makes sense to keep the store focused on WHO Microsoft really is first. Not until the stores prove to be successful (if that ever happens) should they bring in other dominant brands.
Especially since those brands offer sooo many choices, it would be a nightmare trying to manage all the stock, floor plans, and customer expectations without basically becoming a mini-BestBuy.
post #13 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... The retail locations will sell Microsoft software and first-party hardware, such as Zunes and Xbox 360 consoles. Third-party Windows software and Xbox games will also be available. ...

If they aren't going to even sell third party hardware, they will be even lamer than I thought.

There's simply no reason to open a store without a value proposition that makes any sense. With the margins and the volumes on over the counter software sales being what they are, there is no way that this store can make money at all. It's just a showpiece or an advertisement whereas the Apple stores make huge amounts of money and would do so irrespective of the effect they have in showing off or advertising Apple's products.

How ironic that one of the world's leading "business oriented" companies is reduced to opening a business that's essentially a violation of the basic rules of business. No bank would ever give a consumer a loan based on a business proposal like this.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #14 of 124
Quote:
"Sorry, it's a hardware problem. Bring it back to where you bought it"

Dude, that's posted just below the store hours on the front door.

Quote:
Here is the point; over 90 percent of people who purchase these used macs from me are first time MAC USERS. These converts are fed up with Windows PCs. They hate Microsoft with passion.

You are so correct. Once you get to that point where you've gone through every PC manufacturer and it finally dawns on you that Windows is the real problem you become passionately pissed off, especially when recalling how much money you've dumped into PCs over the years... at least that's been my experience.

Apple/Mac may not be perfect, but I have a passionate hatred of all things Microsoft now.
post #15 of 124
i just have a few iphones and probably will keep on using Windows, but even i don't see any point with these stores. it seems like MS got the Apple guy who opened up the stores but told him you have all these restrictions.

apple stores work because the products are designed to be easily carried to a store if there is a problem. if i bought a Dell and wanted to take it to a MS store i'd have to carry the box and the monitor. if i had an imac it's easy to grab the entire thing and take it with you. years ago we had some marketing person want to use an imac on our network. she had the old one with a CRT monitor. she brought the entire thing to work so the IT department can try to help her. a lot of people have trouble with VPN and we tell them to bring their computer so we can hook it up to the office DSL line to look at it. no one wants to do it because with most PC's it's PITA.
post #16 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

It will be interesting to see how many customers the Windows gurus will have to turn back because they can't fix the problem.

"Sorry, it's a hardware problem. Bring it back to where you bought it"

I agree 100%. I suspect that it would void a warranty on a dell if they cracked it open.

Day 1, bringing in my macbook pro with bootcamp and getting some help with something windows 7 ish.
post #17 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

I live in this neighborhood, and I can tell you now that this is where Microsoft will die and be buried.

First, there is a Best Buy store nearby. This is the heart of Orange County. There are currently 4 Apple Stores with 15 miles, and the demographics in this area of the county is very rich. Man, many private schools, most using Apple computers. Kids around here spend their days surfing, skate-boarding, biking, hiking, and they make movies of these activities which of course are edited on Apple computers.

The fact of the matter is that I left my job about a year ago voluntarily to sell used Apple computers. My business which I run out of my house alone has exploded, earning over 10 times my former corporate salary. Here is the point; over 90 percent of people who purchase these used macs from me are first time MAC USERS. These converts are fed up with Windows PCs. They hate Microsoft with passion.


So all I can is this; Come on down to Orange County Microsoft to die and be buried. Mission Viejo Police department will have to work overtime to maintain order on the opening day, I can see it all now. Yea right. I promise to take the picture of the opening day and post and send it to AppleInsider so you guys can see how stupid this Microsoft idea is.

Sounds like you're completely impartial and exactly who I'd listen to on the subject
post #18 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

It will be interesting to see how many customers the Windows gurus will have to turn back because they can't fix the problem.

"Sorry, it's a hardware problem. Bring it back to where you bought it"

Actually isn't the standard answer to windows problems is to re-image the drive and start over again. That seem to be the answer I hear at work all the time when the windows machines go haywire.

I tell the IT team that I use my mac at home as much if not more then the PC at work and it is 6 year old and I never once had to reinstall the OS or re-image the drive to recover from a problem.

Or the other standard answer the problem is caused by some other third party software, so remove it or call them for help.
post #19 of 124
I am so un-amazed. I do not remember a time that I have not wanted to at least look at what Microsoft is doing but since I am on a Mac it would seem that I only need to go to an Apple store to experience the MS way. Steve Jobs had a slogan a couple of years back about MS to get the photocopiers ready. It seems they thought that was a good idea for everything. Long live Apple. I am imagining that after MS has opened a few of these Apple will be ready to evolve.
post #20 of 124
Why doesn't Microsoft just sell iPhones and iPods, why play games? Just go for it and copy Apple down to the products. They can install Windows 7 on all the new Mac's and put them out on the floor.
post #21 of 124
Here's what the guru bar will have to deal with...

1. I can't sync my iphone with my Dell.... A) Bring it to Apple

2. I can't upgrade my iPhone with my Dell....A) Bring it to Apple

3. I start up to a blue screen....A) Send it to Dell

4. How do I sync my iPod?....A) Buy a Zune


Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

It will be interesting to see how many customers the Windows gurus will have to turn back because they can't fix the problem.

"Sorry, it's a hardware problem. Bring it back to where you bought it"
post #22 of 124
QUOTE: I live in this neighborhood, and I can tell you now that this is where Microsoft will die and be buried.

First, there is a Best Buy store nearby. This is the heart of Orange County. There are currently 4 Apple Stores with 15 miles, and the demographics in this area of the county is very rich. Man, many private schools, most using Apple computers. Kids around here spend their days surfing, skate-boarding, biking, hiking, and they make movies of these activities which of course are edited on Apple computers.

The fact of the matter is that I left my job about a year ago voluntarily to sell used Apple computers. My business which I run out of my house alone has exploded, earning over 10 times my former corporate salary. Here is the point; over 90 percent of people who purchase these used macs from me are first time MAC USERS. These converts are fed up with Windows PCs. They hate Microsoft with passion.


So all I can is this; Come on down to Orange County Microsoft to die and be buried. Mission Viejo Police department will have to work overtime to maintain order on the opening day, I can see it all now. Yea right. I promise to take the picture of the opening day and post and send it to AppleInsider so you guys can see how stupid this Microsoft idea is.


I agree with you 100% on all points, I live in Laguna Niguel (across the freeway from Mission Viejo). This is Apple Country. Like you said there are several Apple Stores with in a 10-15 miles, all are ALWAYS packed no matter what time of day or night you go there. Practically everyone in South OC has an iPhone and most have Apple lap-tops. Ever go to a local coffee shop here or anywhere you have wifi...your apt to see plenty of glowing Apple computers. Like you said, it's a fairly affluent area so the quality &n reliability is more important than price.
post #23 of 124
Does Microsoft ever come up with original ideas themselves? I guess the amount of money they have they can afford to just copy. They're original business plan was the right way to go financially, but you'd think with all that money they could eventually come up with some new ideas themselves.

Makes me think of that Steve Jobs interview where he blasted Microsoft for this very reason...

YouTube Video: Steve Jobs on Microsoft

I guess money can't buy you originality or taste. We've seen it time and time again in their ads and products. Microsoft's business model: Copy Apple and others and then make the cheapest product around it with absolutely no style and sell it for extremely low profit margins. Then try to make up for lack of quality by creating shitty ad campaigns that just make them look even worse.
post #24 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

I agree 100%. I suspect that it would void a warranty on a dell if they cracked it open.

Day 1, bringing in my macbook pro with bootcamp and getting some help with something windows 7 ish.

It does. Dell's warranty is baloney. If you open the case of a Dell, the warranty is considered void, but to be honest, I don't think they have a real solid method of checking this sort of thing. I've worked with people's Dells before, and when I took it apart I saw nothing that would indicate I had unscrewed anything, or opened the case. Normally you'd see like a torn sticker, or the top layer of varnish on the screws scratched (to see that a screw driver was pushed into them.)

What you said about bringing in your mbp with bootcamp to learn about Windows 7 sounds more up their ally and I don't see why they wouldn't be able to help with that. Microsoft is a software company after all, and I suspect these gurus will be more informed in this area.
post #25 of 124
Apple Laptop Hunter Ads:

Here we are at a Microsoft store. Here's $2000. Buy a laptop from them.
What, you can't? They don't sell them! Wow. Just wow. How was it in there?
Dark, cold, unwelcoming? A wall of red rings of death?! Someone threw a chair at you! Wow.
Hey, come next door ...
post #26 of 124
"Hot markets" with the "right demographics"?! What a vacuous statement.

When will these guys say something that actually conveys some meaningful information?
post #27 of 124
If M$ wants to throw millions of dollars away, why don't they just throw it in my direction?

But I think we know this isn't about product placement, customer service, or actually succeeding. This is about some obsession (nee demon) of Balmer's. Its a personal vendetta against Jobs, and his demon will take him and his company down with him. It is all totally pre-rational.
post #28 of 124
MS has a problem with their retail stores - it's called sales per square foot.

Apple, as I recall, sets the record in this metric. But they have the product to achieve high numbers.

What does MS have that they can sell at full price in a store? A Zune or game box? Wow.

I spent close to 20 years in retailing and the first thing I see is a need for the landlord to tie up a long term lease really tight, with very high early exit fees.
Ken
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Ken
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post #29 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanhauer View Post

Does Microsoft ever come up with original ideas themselves? I guess the amount of money they have they can afford to just copy. They're original business plan was the right way to go financially, but you'd think with all that money they could eventually come up with some new ideas themselves.

Makes me think of that Steve Jobs interview where he blasted Microsoft for this very reason...

YouTube Video: Steve Jobs on Microsoft

I guess money can't buy you originality or taste. We've seen it time and time again in their ads and products. Microsoft's business model: Copy Apple and others and then make the cheapest product around it with absolutely no style and sell it for extremely low profit margins. Then try to make up for lack of quality by creating shitty ad campaigns that just make them look even worse.

Oh so now we're posting youtube vids of what steve has to say about ms...

Ok then. Take a look here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1wP6v4maL0 at about 4:18 or so.

Gates acknowledges that Jobs has exceptional taste, while Jobs acknowledges MS was great at working with other companies. He says that MS was one of the few companies he was able to successfully partner with. He even goes on to even say that if Apple had that "in their DNA" it would have served them well.

So I think the lesson to be learned is that Apple and Microsoft should join forces to make Applesoft, and give the world the best of both worlds (just kidding.)
post #30 of 124
I agree the MS stores will die....the problem can be stated in one sentence.

"If I gave a team of programmers $50,000,000 and said 'design an OS,' the Windows format (DLL's, Registry, etc.,) would not even be considered!"

And that's b/c it's a dog! Always has been and always will be!
post #31 of 124
Face off? Please! Slaughter is more like it.
post #32 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Oh so now we're posting youtube vids of what steve has to say about ms...

Ok then. Take a look here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1wP6v4maL0 at about 4:18 or so.

Gates acknowledges that Jobs has exceptional taste, while Jobs acknowledges MS was great at working with other companies. He says that MS was one of the few companies he was able to successfully partner with. He even goes on to even say that if Apple had that "in their DNA" it would have served them well.

So I think the lesson to be learned is that Apple and Microsoft should join forces to make Applesoft, and give the world the best of both worlds (just kidding.)

Ummm... Why wouldn't I post a YouTube video? Don't understand what you mean there as it was relevant to the topic.

Your points have nothing to do with what I said or what Steve said in the video. My point was they don't innovate and instead use their financial success with their OS to now just copy Apple and others usually a year or so after the fact.

Look I'm not hating on MS just to hate. I actually love my XBox 360 and have no problem using a PC except that I prefer the OS X experience instead, but it seems like year after year they come out with a similar product or service about a year after a main competitor does and their only sales tactic is that it's cheaper.
post #33 of 124
Lame.

No, Baldmer, this STILL won't make your ailing dinosaur operation look "cool."

MS is truly out of ideas.

Whoops, that's not entirely true. They've still got that Big-Ass Table(TM) . . . somewhere.
post #34 of 124
I CAN'T WAIT to see how Chiat/Day uses this for the next PC-guy/Mac-guy commercials.

"Hello, I'm a Mac."

"And I'm a PC. (knock, knock) Hello??!"

"PC, what are you doing?"

"(knocking on a door), Oh nothing, someone's on their way to let me in. You're not the only one who people will buy in cool, shiny, friendly, swanky stores."

"But people don't just like me for the stores, they like me because of how great I fit into their lives."

"Hello, (knock knock), it's me, PC. I run your software!"

"I don't think anyone's coming PC."

"Nope, I can hear footsteps, yup, I'll be in a fancy cool store just like you. I can smell that fresh Windows air already"

[Apple logo fades in on white]
[background audio: "knock, knock, hello?"]
post #35 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

It will be interesting to see how many customers the Windows gurus will have to turn back because they can't fix the problem.

"Sorry, it's a hardware problem. Bring it back to where you bought it"

From this article it seems like they are only going to be focussing on the XBox/gaming hardware, so while they might refer people, the only people bringing hardware in will be gamers with their XBox hardware.

They might be thinking that if gaming is "taking off" with the iPhone that their new Zune hardware will similarly take off and in that sense they might be seeing these "Microsoft stores" as really just glorified gaming and entertainment stores that are focussed on MIcrosoft products to the exclusion of all others, but that's still pretty thin gruel for a retail operation to survive on.

Hard-core X-Box type gamers are a tiny minority despite the sales figures and *casual* gaming is what's taking off. The Zune might *look* a lot like the iPod, but it still doesn't have an OS or an SDK to speak of that is going to allow it the kind of success MS hopes for in that arena.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #36 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanhauer View Post

Ummm... Why wouldn't I post a YouTube video? Don't understand what you mean there as it was relevant to the topic.

Your points have nothing to do with what I said or what Steve said in the video. My point was they don't innovate and instead use their financial success with their OS to now just copy Apple and others usually a year or so after the fact.

Look I'm not hating on MS just to hate. I actually love my XBox 360 and have no problem using a PC except that I prefer the OS X experience instead, but it seems like year after year they come out with a similar product or service about a year after a main competitor does and their only sales tactic is that it's cheaper.


Actually the video made a clear point, Ballmer try to claim that during the early 90's they did not innovate because of their relationship with IBM, the real truth is that Apple at the same time was not innovating either, this was after Jobs and before Jobs at apple and we had John in change and he was only interesting in making incremental changes in products.

During this same time period MS had no model or roadmap to follow so they were left to their own ideas which the world got nothing until they figure out how to copies other companies.
post #37 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwcerra View Post

I agree with you 100% on all points, I live in Laguna Niguel (across the freeway from Mission Viejo). This is Apple Country. Like you said there are several Apple Stores with in a 10-15 miles, all are ALWAYS packed no matter what time of day or night you go there. Practically everyone in South OC has an iPhone and most have Apple lap-tops. Ever go to a local coffee shop here or anywhere you have wifi...your apt to see plenty of glowing Apple computers. Like you said, it's a fairly affluent area so the quality &n reliability is more important than price.

Yeah I'm an OC local as well and you are right about everyone around here having an iPhone. I think we have about 25 colleges around town as well and Macs are quite popular now days with that crowd. But when you have a Mac or an iPhone you tend to notice others who do as well. Generally Apple fans like to check out the Apple store when they happen to be at the mall but PC people are of a different mind set. Not that there aren't millions of them even in OC but they don't strike me as the type that would go to a Windows store in their leisure time just to hang out.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #38 of 124
A Microsoft Guru Bar? Perfect!

Now it will be easy to get those red-ringed Xbox 360s fixed!
post #39 of 124
How is a combination toy and software store competition for a full-featured computer and accessory retailer?

Microsoft's slavish dedication to copying just about ANYTHING it sees a competitor making a buck at would be pathetic if they weren't able to outspend their competition into oblivion. If they actually created something new, novel and useful, they'd be all set. Seriously, a Microsoft store? Why?
post #40 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanhauer View Post

Ummm... Why wouldn't I post a YouTube video? Don't understand what you mean there as it was relevant to the topic.

Your points have nothing to do with what I said or what Steve said in the video. My point was they don't innovate and instead use their financial success with their OS to now just copy Apple and others usually a year or so after the fact.

Look I'm not hating on MS just to hate. I actually love my XBox 360 and have no problem using a PC except that I prefer the OS X experience instead, but it seems like year after year they come out with a similar product or service about a year after a main competitor does and their only sales tactic is that it's cheaper.

In an entire thread of everyone slamming MS, I figured I'd show that even Jobs acknowledges there are positive traits in MS that Apple should have copied (cuz i mean lets be honest, how dull is it when everyone says the same thing ;P.)

It's wrong for a company to learn from another one's success? Look at what Pepsi is to Coke for God's sakes.

There are plenty of things MS excels in that Apple does not, and many of those things stem from their ability to work with other companies so smoothly. For instance, one of the things gamers are excited about is Windows 7 treating the GPU as a "real peer" to the CPU, more efficiently delegating work to 3D graphics cards better than any other OS. In other words, better gaming and a better overall experience throughout the OS when a video card is present. You think they came up with this on their own? They worked with other companies to perfect stuff like this.

What you see on the surface is one thing. I think whatever Microsoft does right is never talked about here (but then again, why would that be discussed?) Instead, what's mentioned is their downfalls over and over and it begins to add up and look as though they offer nothing to the consumer in terms of innovation and product value.
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