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Apple may not be Microsoft's biggest retail challenge

post #1 of 92
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Microsoft's retail and hardware partnerships may hinder its expansion into the retail space, as it seeks to compete with Apple's brick-and-mortar locations.

In a new report Wednesday, Nick Wingfield of The Wall Street Journal, wrote that Microsoft's retail venture is a more difficult proposition for the Windows maker than Apple faced when it opened its first stores. In addition to upsetting retail partners, Microsoft's hardware partners could also prove unhappy over which products are selected or neglected to be featured in the stores.

"While Apple had fewer potential business conflicts because it had such weak support from retailers when it opened its first store in 2001," the report said, "Microsoft depends on existing partners in the retail business that could be threatened by the company's expansion into their turf."

However, some believe that worries about retail and hardware conflicts are being overblown.

"Everybody is in everybody's space," Steven Baker, an analyst with NPD Group Inc., told the Journal.

Microsoft is pulling no punches in its quest to directly compete with Apple in the retail space, going so far as to poach Apple Store staff and managers and hiring former Apple retail executive George Blankenship who played an instrumental part in the growth and popularization of the Apple retail outlets.

Microsoft has made no attempt to hide the fact that they are gunning directly for Apple's market share. Company executive Kevin Turner reportedly said several months ago that Microsoft intends to open stores next door to Apple.

Microsoft plans to mirror many aspects of Apple's retail outlets, including using "Microsoft Gurus" for tech support and demos much like the Apple store "Geniuses."

These steps are all indications that Microsoft considers Apple to be a credible threat to its market share. Mac sales saw double-digit growth in the third quarter of 2009.

In a separate piece, Wingfield wrote that while poor initial reviews of Microsoft's retail plan have surfaced, Apple too had to deal with doubts and criticism during the rollout of their first retail stores.

So far, Apple's response to Microsoft's retail plans is simple: renew, remodel, and advertise. The Apple store located inside The Shops at Mission Viejo, Calif. - located in the same complex where one of Microsoft's first retail outlets will open has been boarded up with a sign reading "Coming soon. The all-new Apple Store." Apple also plans on running ads in response to the Windows 7 debut which will mock the upgrade process from Windows XP and highlight the benefits of switching to a Mac.

The first Microsoft store slated to open is located in Scottsdale, Arizona and is expected to open its doors "on or within days of the launch" of Windows 7, reported Wingfield.
post #2 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


In addition to upsetting retail partners, Microsoft's hardware partners could also prove unhappy over which products are selected or neglected to be featured in the stores.

"While Apple had fewer potential business conflicts because it had such weak support from retailers when it opened its first store in 2001," the report said, "Microsoft depends on existing partners in the retail business that could be threatened by the company's expansion into their turf."

I wondered about this when they announced this idea. How do they decide how much
retail space goes to Dell running Windows and how much goes to HP, netbooks,
gaming machines, etc.? Will M$ use these stores to compete with Apple, or favor
and punish hardware makers? (Likely both.)

"Hmm. Dell recommends users downgrade to XP before taking the PC home. We'll
have our gurus recommend them less next month."

The whole thing could devolve into an ugly mess.
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
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post #3 of 92
It will be interesting to see how the stores play out now that it appears they have a hit with Windows 7. Only time will tell.
post #4 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It will be interesting to see how the stores play out now that it appears they have a hit with Windows 7. Only time will tell.

Right, what a hit it is indeed. The only hit MS OS to have lower sales units than 1.
post #5 of 92
I wonder what they will do when I bring in my MacBook and ask why the sound does not work on every second reboot into Windows ? If anyone else has had that and figured it out let me know..

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post #6 of 92
Just another spasm in Ballmer's endless flailing about to find a strategy to arrest Microsoft's death spiral. Sure it's good to try new things, but maybe think thing's through first, eh? Another case where Ballmer will be giving Microsoft's erstwhile partners the shaft.

Why does Ballmer think that a pure software player (when it comes to computers) has to imitate a vertically integrated competitor? Why is Ballmer trying to be a better Apple than Apple? Is he going to ban the MS guru's from saying "that's a hardware issue, you need to get in touch with the manufacturer"? How about "your copy of windows is OEM, you need to talk to the PC manufacturer"? Nobody has yet talked about how MS will handle these crucial issues. If they turn away people because of these reasons, they'll put a black eye on their brand. If they take on all comers then the gurus will be swamped.
post #7 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It will be interesting to see how the stores play out now that it appears they have a hit with Windows 7. Only time will tell.

I don't think being well reviewed by tech pundits as being what Vista should have been necessarily equals being "a hit."

Being a hit would require broad and rapid adoption, and that remains to be seen. I would guess all those low cost Walmart computers that drive Windows market share also act as a boat anchor when it comes to getting people to upgrade, since I would further guess that many of those users really don't give a shit about their OS, as long as it works OK-- that is to say, XP will continue to serve. That goes for a lot of business users, as well.

Now, it's unlikely that 7 is going to inspire the clamor for downgrades on new hardware that Vista did, so through the inevitable process of computer replacement 7 will make its way onto the desktops of America. But that's not really the same as being "a hit."
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post #8 of 92
I cannot wait to see how they manage the Microsoft "Gurus" department! At the size store where Apple has 5 geniuses per shift, wouldn't Microsoft have to have about 25 - 50 to handle all the Microsoft software nightmares, unless they let the troubleshooting line stretch around the block, or force you to schedule appointments months in advance. I can imagine it now....

"My computer is reeeeeaaaalllly slow"..."I keep getting all these windows popping up"..."I can't install a networked printer"..... and on and on and on.......

My post was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but only somewhat.
post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I don't think being well reviewed by tech pundits as being what Vista should have been necessarily equals being "a hit."

I was assuming that techstud was in "Sarcasm Mode". I don't think he really
meant that W7 is already a hit.

Then again, maybe I'm putting words into his mouth . . .
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post #10 of 92
OMG Microsoft is doomed and will die in two years. Apple's worldwide marketshare will grow and they will dominate the world and all the humans will think different!

In two years every corporation will stop using Windows and Office and instead play with iChat and iPhones all day long!
post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

These steps are all indications that Microsoft considers Apple to be a credible threat to its market share. Mac sales saw double-digit growth in the third quarter of 2009.

Yeh, keep telling yourself this. As much as you Apple Fan Boys would like it, Apple is really nothing more than a small prick in the side to Microsoft. Remember, they make a lot of money off you guys when you buy MS Office or Vista for dual boot.

They have seen Apple do good with these retail stores and Microsoft are copying it (as usual, it's the whole way their incredibly successful business model has worked from the start). That doesn't mean in any way that Microsoft is scared of Apple. I can tell you that Microsoft's biggest rival right now is Google.

Keep trying to tell yourself you're in the big league, but you're still a super small player compared to Windows.
post #12 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wakashizuma View Post

In two years every corporation will stop using Windows and Office and instead play with iChat and iPhones all day long!

Close.

Within two years, every corporate office serf will have dumped Solitaire and Mine Sweeper for iPhone games.
post #13 of 92
deleted
post #14 of 92
Anyway, back on topic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's retail and hardware partnerships may hinder its expansion into the retail space, as it seeks to compete with Apple's brick-and-mortar locations.

NO KIDDING. Only Ballmer could have dense enough not to see this.

One question is whether the PC makers are going to risk "losing favor" with the high-volume retail outlets over an unproven and initially low-volume venture.

And will the likes of Best Buy give Windows 7 etc. any kind of prominent showing when MS starts direct competition with them? Or better yet: will Best Buy refer Windows/Office support questions to the MS stores? (i.e. "That's a Windows problem, you need to see MS")

Things are certainly going to be interesting!
post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

Yeh, keep telling yourself this. As much as you Apple Fan Boys would like it, Apple is really nothing more than a small prick in the side to Microsoft. Remember, they make a lot of money off you guys when you buy MS Office or Vista for dual boot.

They have seen Apple do good with these retail stores and Microsoft are copying it (as usual, it's the whole way their incredibly successful business model has worked from the start). That doesn't mean in any way that Microsoft is scared of Apple. I can tell you that Microsoft's biggest rival right now is Google.

Keep trying to tell yourself you're in the big league, but you're still a super small player compared to Windows.

Classic short term outlook on your part. Microsoft is scared sh*tless about apple and so are Microsoft's hardware oem's.

Why are they scared? cause apple has almost locked up the mid to premium tier of the marketplace and makes a bundle in profits. Microsoft's OEM's are working non stop to make pennies.
post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by sippincider View Post

Anyway, back on topic:



NO KIDDING. Only Ballmer could have dense enough not to see this.

One question is whether the PC makers are going to risk "losing favor" with the high-volume retail outlets over an unproven and initially low-volume venture.

And will the likes of Best Buy give Windows 7 etc. any kind of prominent showing when MS starts direct competition with them? Or better yet: will Best Buy simply refer Windows/Office support questions to the MS stores? (i.e. "That's a Windows problem, you need to see MS")

Things are certainly going to be interesting!

Microsoft cares nothing for it's partners. They were a means to an end.
post #17 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wakashizuma View Post

OMG Microsoft is doomed and will die in two years. Apple's worldwide marketshare will grow and they will dominate the world and all the humans will think different!

In two years every corporation will stop using Windows and Office and instead play with iChat and iPhones all day long!

feeding the trolls is sooooo not helping...
post #18 of 92
Amazing how hard Microsoft is trying to compete against a company with a mere 9% market share.
post #19 of 92
MS is opening a pandora's box of unintended consequences. Who are they going to blame when a customer has a problem, the software or the hardware? Besides, ms isn't cool and isn't going to be cool.
post #20 of 92
Steve B sure is spending a lot of money and brainpower to deal with a "rounding error"

I guess not even *he* believes his own stuff any more
post #21 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It will be interesting to see how the stores play out now that it appears they have a hit with Windows 7. Only time will tell.

They don't have a "hit". Pre-sales were ok, but not gargantuan.

It's not even available yet.

Articles have been saying that sales of 7 will be fairly modest, and even Ballmer has stated that it won't help PC sales much.

Upgrading from XP which is what is in almost 80% of all PC's, will be a real bear. few will upgrade to it because of that.

Why do you say these silly things?
post #22 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Upgrading from XP which is what is in almost 80% of all PC's, will be a real bear. few will upgrade to it because of that.

Why do you say these silly things?

Cos that's what he does best.
post #23 of 92
MS is not competing with Apple retail stores ... and if they think they are, they are really out of touch.

They are competing directly with themselves along with Best Buy, Walmart, and more.

Mark my words ... this foray into retail by MS will fail miserably. Shareholders should ask hard questions about why MS, a software company, is opening a brick and mortar retail store to sell it's wares.

They should focus their attention on boot time, malware, reducing software patches and delivering an operating system which does not cause my mother to call me for support.
post #24 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

They don't have a "hit". Pre-sales were ok, but not gargantuan.

It's not even available yet.

Articles have been saying that sales of 7 will be fairly modest, and even Ballmer has stated that it won't help PC sales much.

Upgrading from XP which is what is in almost 80% of all PC's, will be a real bear. few will upgrade to it because of that.

Why do you say these silly things?

Well what do YOU want me to say -that it appears they have another flop like VIsta? I won't because - THEY DON"T!
And I said hit- not home run!
JEESH!
post #25 of 92
Microsoft's biggest retail challenge is Microsoft.
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by tawilson View Post

Cos that's what he does best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I don't think being well reviewed by tech pundits as being what Vista should have been necessarily equals being "a hit."

Being a hit would require broad and rapid adoption, and that remains to be seen. I would guess all those low cost Walmart computers that drive Windows market share also act as a boat anchor when it comes to getting people to upgrade, since I would further guess that many of those users really don't give a shit about their OS, as long as it works OK-- that is to say, XP will continue to serve. That goes for a lot of business users, as well.

Now, it's unlikely that 7 is going to inspire the clamor for downgrades on new hardware that Vista did, so through the inevitable process of computer replacement 7 will make its way onto the desktops of America. But that's not really the same as being "a hit."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofino View Post

feeding the trolls is sooooo not helping...

I love it- you all are so upset the MS gets a great review for Windows!!! Hysterical!!
post #27 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Microsoft's biggest retail challenge is Microsoft.

WOW- pure genius!
I thought it was Google.
post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I love it- you all are so upset the MS gets a great review for Windows!!! Hysterical!!

stfu troll. and just to refresh your feeble memory, vista got good reviews too.
post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Amazing how hard Microsoft is trying to compete against a company with a mere 9% market share.

i know right? talk about insecurity issues no pun intended lol
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post #30 of 92
When it comes down to the issue, all microsoft can do is copy everything apple does and fail at it miserably.
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeman60 View Post

Microsoft cares nothing for it's partners. They were a means to an end.

True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by axual View Post

MS is not competing with Apple retail stores ... and if they think they are, they are really out of touch.

They are competing directly with themselves along with Best Buy, Walmart, and more.

Reminds me of the Bad Old Days at General Motors, when GM had its own divisions and dealers in mortal competition with each-other.

'Tis amazing when a company starts a war with itself...
post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

stfu troll. and just to refresh your feeble memory, vista got good reviews too.

No it didn't. kmaimw
post #33 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvance View Post

Besides, ms isn't cool and isn't going to be cool.

(Trying to ward off visions of goons in MSN butterfly suits, chasing down shoppers and dragging them into MS stores.)
post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

No it didn't. kmaimw

yes, it did. and feel free to go away now. no one likes your FUD slinging.
post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

yes, it did. and feel free to go away now. no one likes your FUD slinging.

Then prove it-Walk the Walk. Provide a link. You sling BS.
post #36 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It will be interesting to see how the stores play out now that it appears they have a hit with Windows 7. Only time will tell.


i'm a windows user and i think it will be an utter failure. the design of the imacs is specifically made to make it easy to bring to an apple store for real technical support. what are the tech gurus going to do when people bring 5 different brands of computers and they can't do anything because they don't honor the warranties?
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Keep trying to tell yourself you're in the big league, but you're still a super small player compared to Windows.

Yet Microsoft is obsessed with them.
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It will be interesting to see how the stores play out now that it appears they have a hit with Windows 7. Only time will tell.

NEWSFLASH: This just in: TeckDud announces to the world that Windows7, which has yet to be released, has been decleared a winner! Imagine how good it'l do when it finally, you know, sells its first copy ... oh, I guess I shouldn't mention windows and copy in the same story, ... my bad.
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post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Amazing how hard Microsoft is trying to compete against a company with a mere 9% market share.

With Apple taking over 90% of the $1000+ segment, getting more popular with the younger generation and taking over a 1/3 of all US PC revenue despite their low OS percentage it's natural that MS and their vendors are feeing a little threatened.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Microsoft's biggest retail challenge is Microsoft.

HAHA nice!
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post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Well what do YOU want me to say -that it appears they have another flop like VIsta? I won't because - THEY DON"T!
And I said hit- not home run!
JEESH!


TeckDud is backtracking already .... Jeesh, he's getting better at this with every post.
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