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Microsoft store to face off against Apple iPhone 4 launch

post #1 of 235
Thread Starter 
Microsoft is opening its fourth retail store in San Diego's Fashion Valley Mall, not just a few doors down from an Apple Store, but also on June 24, the launch day of iPhone 4.

It's not clear if Microsoft intentionally timed its retail store opening with the launch of iPhone 4, or if the two events were just coincidental. Either way, the fact that Apple and Microsoft will both host major new retail store launches on the same corner of the mall should prove to be an interesting experience.

Microsoft has three other retail stores, all located close to Apple retail outlets. The first was opened 20 minutes away from an Apple Store in Scottsdale Arizona, while two others are located within the same malls, one in Mission Viejo, California and the other in Lone Tree, Colorado.

Microsoft has worked hard to replicate a close facsimile of Apple's retail stores, copying everything from the minimalist design, look and layout of product tables to Apple's Genius Bar concept, right down to employees' primary color uniforms and even their iconic lanyards.

Earlier prototype Microsoft stores were modeled to resemble big box retail, but the company subsequently shifted its focus to mimic Apple's success in small boutique retail.

In addition to closely following Apples retail locations, looks, and experience, Microsoft has also worked to create high profile launch events patterned after those originally initiated by Apple's own retail team. Whether the new store's opening will rival Apple's retail launch of iPhone 4, or be overshadowed by that launch just four doors down, remains to be seen.

Joe Wilcox snapped the following photo in the new San Diego store's location, positioned just opposite an existing Apple Store, and implored readers to show up for Microsoft's store opening.
post #2 of 235
copy copy copy. they cant innovate so they copy (years late). Its a pattern repeated more often of late.
post #3 of 235
So this will be the 4th poorly performing store that they open. What are they going to highlight on that day?? There new phones for teenyboppers?? Always late and always short on anything exciting.
post #4 of 235
Those poor crazy b@stards.
post #5 of 235
So what does the Microsoft store sell exactly?
post #6 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Askew View Post

So what does the Microsoft store sell exactly?

iTunes gift cards are their number one selling item I read.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #7 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Askew View Post

So what does the Microsoft store sell exactly?

Pain and misery.
post #8 of 235
It's good to be the king... but not without clothes.
post #9 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdanboy View Post

So this will be the 4th poorly performing store that they open. What are they going to highlight on that day?? There new phones for teenyboppers?? Always late and always short on anything exciting.

Does anyone actually have any sales data to backup the stance that the MS stores aren't making money? If everyone is just assuming this fact we might find out later on that they're doing well.
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #10 of 235
Microsoft opened their third retail store in the Park Meadows at Lone Tree, CO, in the Southeast of the Denver metro area.

The grand opening was at 10AM. I arrived at 10:45 and had no wait. Perhaps because it was a Thursday, I walked right into the store. Located next to Pottery Barn which is in the center of the upper level of the shopping mall (sorry, Retail Resort) across from the food court (sorry, Dining Hall) there is excellent visibility.

There are no displays by the mall side windows. With wood floors and white walls it is much lighter than the Apple stores current look. The TV screens running the full length of the store along both side walls are very attractive. Scenes include the Grand Canyon, with the North rim on one side of the store and the South rim on the other. But it is very distracting. I noticed that I was not looking at the computers. Another scene had photos of planets, but in typical Microsoft fashion, they were rotating backwards.

This mall does have an Apple store with slightly less square footage for retail. It is on the South end, lower level, so slightly less traffic, but much more convenient to the parking lot. A little over a year ago Apple closed the store for a day to change the one row of tables to two rows. In retrospect they probably should have committed to a larger location in this major high traffic mall.

By 2:30, there were more people in the Apple store than the Microsoft location. Later, Microsoft was giving out freshly-baked chocolate-chip cookies and setting up an autograph session with Rob Dyrdek. (I had never heard of him.) You could still just walk in the store, but there was a long line waiting for autographs. Obviously just opening a store is not enough to attract people to a new Microsoft location.

As the Apple retail stores still sell a large portion of computers to switchers, having the Microsoft store in the same mall should help Apple.
post #11 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Askew View Post

So what does the Microsoft store sell exactly?

Mediocrity.
post #12 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Those poor crazy b@stards.

haha, so true.

It's painfully embarrassing how this company from top (Balmer) down, and in all levels, showcases an unprecedented idiocy.

They 've finally woken up and decided to go into retail, they are opening their fourth store, and when do they chose to set the launch day for it? Right on the date that the best selling device from apple hits the stores with a by all accounts excellent new model. So people will see folk lining up in apple stores and sweet nobody in the MS store.

Unbefrigginlievable ineptness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marktrek View Post

Another scene had photos of planets, but in typical Microsoft fashion, they were rotating backwards.

Priceless!!

A moving picture speaks more than a thousand words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

Mediocrity.

Very funny!!!
post #13 of 235
Let's go laugh at silly Microsoft. What a bunch of anuses. Bing-a-da-Bing

Wait, didn't Microsoft copy Apple from the beginning? Same old same old.
post #14 of 235
The irony of course is that Rob Dyrdek is a HUGE Mac user. If you watch his show, it's all Macs. What a joke and stupid move on the part of the Microsloth!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marktrek View Post

Microsoft opened their third retail store in the Park Meadows at Lone Tree, CO, in the Southeast of the Denver metro area.

The grand opening was at 10AM. I arrived at 10:45 and had no wait. Perhaps because it was a Thursday, I walked right into the store. Located next to Pottery Barn which is in the center of the upper level of the shopping mall (sorry, Retail Resort) across from the food court (sorry, Dining Hall) there is excellent visibility.

There are no displays by the mall side windows. With wood floors and white walls it is much lighter than the Apple stores current look. The TV screens running the full length of the store along both side walls are very attractive. Scenes include the Grand Canyon, with the North rim on one side of the store and the South rim on the other. But it is very distracting. I noticed that I was not looking at the computers. Another scene had photos of planets, but in typical Microsoft fashion, they were rotating backwards.

This mall does have an Apple store with slightly less square footage for retail. It is on the South end, lower level, so slightly less traffic, but much more convenient to the parking lot. A little over a year ago Apple closed the store for a day to change the one row of tables to two rows. In retrospect they probably should have committed to a larger location in this major high traffic mall.

By 2:30, there were more people in the Apple store than the Microsoft location. Later, Microsoft was giving out freshly-baked chocolate-chip cookies and setting up an autograph session with Rob Dyrdek. (I had never heard of him.) You could still just walk in the store, but there was a long line waiting for autographs. Obviously just opening a store is not enough to attract people to a new Microsoft location.

As the Apple retail stores still sell a large portion of computers to switchers, having the Microsoft store in the same mall should help Apple.
post #15 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by alangsam View Post

copy copy copy. they cant innovate so they copy (years late). Its a pattern repeated more often of late.

They all copy from each other. Some more than others, but hopefully you don't believe that Apple always creates things first. I would say it's fact that Apple takes existing technology and just implements it better. They still copy the initial idea from somewhere.
post #16 of 235
That's one city. What a joke. But even if they had as many stores as Apple around the count...I mean world...why would anyone go there to buy what reportedly will be some kind of "deal" on existing Windows Mobile devices. Windows Phone 7 isn't anywhere near even a beta release.

I wouldn't go there if they gave away free phones. I wouldn't want to jeopardize my place in the line to the Apple Store.

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(Mid-2012) 15.4" MacBook Pro w/ IPS Retina Display | Quad Core i7-3720QM 2.6GHz / 3.6GHz Max. Turbo | 16GB DDR3-1600MHz RAM | 256GB Samsung 830 SSD-based NAND Flash ETA 9/5

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post #17 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has worked hard to replicate a close facsimile of Apple's retail stores, copying everything from the minimalist design, look and layout of product tables to Apple's Genius Bar concept, right down to employees' primary color uniforms and even their iconic lanyards.

"Worked hard"???? Honestly AI, is hitting the "copy" button on the photo-copier really considered hard?

Epic fail
post #18 of 235
Well, they might see a little extra traffic in the mall that day, due to the iPhone release. That early-adopter demographic would be a particularly desirable one, if only Microsoft were early to adopt the latest technologies themselves (or even better, invent them).

Still, does seem kind of sad that they decided the highest they could aim would be to try to attract some people from Apple's big release.
post #19 of 235
The fact that Microsoft hired some of Apple's own retail to build and staff it's stores speaks volumes to how well Apple has implemented their retail strategy. A the same time, it's striking that the talent at Microsoft couldn't think of more creative ways to innovate or change-up the almost carbon copy concept.

Any word on who the store manager is in CO? If the store team has anything to do with the former Apple SM/GM, don't expect much. While Microsoft hired some talented folks from Apple - he's not at their level.

If nothing else, you have to admit that launching a Microsoft store on the same day as the iPhone 4 takes balls.
post #20 of 235
Hey, Microsoft: good luck with all of the dust, tumbleweeds, and that skeleton dude in cowboy hat & boots playing the harmonica at the door to the saloon.

Seriously, I don't think they'll be as vacant as Chernobyl, but close!
post #21 of 235
I know you all think this is stupid of MS (and partially rightly so) but there are things that they can do in their own store to show off features of Windows 7 that places like Best Buy simply won't do. Has anyone ever gone to Best Buy, tried out a computer, and then realized they had either set something up wrong or one of the advertised features wasn't hooked up? Intel WiDi is a perfect example.

BTW, if one of these stores is opening at your local mall and you can somehow get both the Apple store and MS store in a single photo, go and take a picture on the iphone 4 launch day. It should be a good laugh.
post #22 of 235
Appleites, do your duty.
post #23 of 235
I think they're hoping a few poor souls will get lost on their way to the Apple Store and...
post #24 of 235
I may take some flack for this, but in spite of their overwhelming success and popularity, I don't consider most of the Apple stores (especially the mall stores) to be all that special. So they're brightly lit, have parsons tables and lighted displays on the walls....big deal. And they charge list price for everything. Why would I buy a third-party accessory in an Apple store when I could get it for less elsewhere?

The real benefit of Apple stores is that they have lots of working equipment with loaded software. Most other retailers actually lock you out of the machines or have no software loaded on them or don't have them connected to a network, so you can't do anything with them.

The perceived benefit of Apple stores is seeing this really nice environment (especially the flagship stores), filled with people swarming around the Apple products. I know New York is the "city that never sleeps", but I still find it amazing that when you walk into the Fifth Avenue store at 2am, it's mobbed with people. It drives home the message that Apple must be the product you want to own because it seems like everyone else wants to own it.

Apple needed to get into retail because before the advent of the Apple stores, most third party retail did a really lousy job of presenting Apple products. And in retrospect, especially with the closing of CompUSA and Circuit City, it was a genius move, because imagine where Apple might be today if they didn't open their own retail and didn't have these chains to rely upon, as bad as they were.

However, having said all that, if Microsoft is perceived as copying Apple, even if Microsoft's retail endeavor has a different strategy and purpose, Microsoft's stores can do more harm than good for Microsoft. And considering how most CE retail already supports Wintel, did Microsoft really need to open retail stores?

And is the Microsoft store going to feature Microsoft's Mac software products?

I can't wait until people start walking into the Microsoft Store, going to their version of the Genius Bar, throwing their barely working laptop at them and screaming, "get this piece of crap working!" If Microsoft pulls a "well you have to take off all the third party software" line on people, there will be riots. And if they tell people they can fix it by wiping the hard disk and re-installing the OS, that's not going to go over too well either. It's going to be really interesting to see how this all works out. In the locations where there's both a Microsoft and an Apple store, I'd love to see research that shows how many people walk from the Microsoft store to the Apple store and vice-versa.

One difference between Apple and Wintel is that since most offices are still primarily Wintel based, there's plenty of decent paying jobs in IT for Wintel support techs. They don't have to work in retail, which generally pays a lot less. So it will be interesting to see who the Microsoft stores are able to hire as "geniuses", especially if they start rolling out a lot more stores.

But I have to admit, for a decent chocolate chip cookie, if there were no lines, I'd walk in there.
post #25 of 235
Am I the only one to see this as a high noon face-off? I won't be surprised if all the blogging media (i.e. Gizmo, Engadget, C-net, Wired and others) descend on this mall to check out who will attract longer lines. There was never an event such as this, where MS went head-to-head with Apple at something for which Apple had become famous.

I don't think we should start mobilising people to show up for Apple, since I'm sure San Diego has plenty of early adopters more than anxious to be first to get the iPhone 4, but MS astroturfers are already making this into an all-or-nothing MS vs. Apple contest, trying to get folks to come in as high numbers as possible.

This will be funny to watch (and read about). I don't doubt there will be tons of side-by-side pictures, claiming victory for MS (Photoshop on overclocked machines will be needed)...
post #26 of 235
Microsoft are opening a store on the same street as an apple store on the day of the iPhone launch and expect to get customers
post #27 of 235
My design instructor used to say "After fire and the wheel, there are no original ideas."

There are 3 types of companies, Inventors, innovators and imitators.

Apple isn't an inventor, they are an innovator. With few exceptions they are usually late to the party. But man does the party perk up when they arrive. They will watch a market develop and determine what they feel are the shortcomings of that market and how to eliminate those short comings.

Where Microsoft is more of an innovator is in the enterprise field. Sadly most consumers are unexposed to this area. In the consumer market Microsoft seems content to be imitators. The company has some very good products, most people have never seen them because there created to be invisible to the general user.

I think you could draw some similarities between Apple's enterprise efforts and Microsoft's consumer efforts. Both seem to be operating in areas that they don't seem to fully grasp.
post #28 of 235
Will there be people line dancing?
post #29 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsect View Post

I think they're hoping a few poor souls will get lost on their way to the Apple Store and...

Then clearly realize that they're NOT in the Apple Store.

A moment of confusion, followed by embarrassment, and finished with mumbled excuses and apologies (as well as a few profanities muttered) upon exit.
post #30 of 235


Microsoft store on opening day.
post #31 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

They all copy from each other. Some more than others, but hopefully you don't believe that Apple always creates things first. I would say it's fact that Apple takes existing technology and just implements it better. They still copy the initial idea from somewhere.

One of the nuances of the English language is that in the sense used 'copy' infers that the copy is worse than the original. Apple, as you said, improves on the original, MS makes a poor copy.

We are all standing on the shoulders of giants.
post #32 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marktrek View Post

Another scene had photos of planets, but in typical Microsoft fashion, they were rotating backwards.

You forget that MS's view of the universe is looking up from the south so these planets are rotating perfectly in the world of MS.
post #33 of 235
Something tells me Apple will have more people queuing up.
post #34 of 235
They forgot Virus Scanning, Reinstalling and Registry Cleaning in the ad poster...
post #35 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

SNIP

Apple needed to get into retail because before the advent of the Apple stores, most third party retail did a really lousy job of presenting Apple products. And in retrospect, especially with the closing of CompUSA and Circuit City, it was a genius move, because imagine where Apple might be today if they didn't open their own retail and didn't have these chains to rely upon, as bad as they were.

SNIP

Exactly. Most people probably don't remember how sad the state of Apple's presence was in the computer retail industry. The amount of FUD spewed by the commission sales staff at almost every retail outlet was quite unbelievable. One key to success in a competitive retail environment is of course: shelf space (other than knowledgable staff of course). When you're up against 95% of Wintel manufacturers, you're facing an uphill battle.

The state of affairs was not much better at their authorised resellers, at least in my experience in Vancouver in the '90s. The staff was mostly ignorant, condecending to everybody but big accounts, and usually not particularly good at supporting their customers.

Apple did the right thing to secure shelf space by putting their own shelfs into their own stores and hiring mac expert staff to deal with their customers. It was wildly ridiculed at the time, but the execution of their retail strategy is now considered a text book case for doing it right.
post #36 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauty of Bath View Post

We are all standing on the shoulders of giants.

Actually, we're all standing on the rubble of both giants AND dwarves! (As well as many normal-sized people. )

Remember: the next time you visit the ruins of Central & South America, China, Rome, Japan, England, Ireland, Colonial America, etc. -- they all blew it.

These ruins only remain because Nature either covered 'em over (and we dug 'em up) or didn't see fit to knock 'em over. (And, in some cases, we buried them, building anew on the detritus.)

People carried some of the "good stuff" out of the mess (as well as a lot of crap), so the losses haven't been total... But ya gotta wonder what the "ruins" of our society will look like 100, 500, or even 1,000 years from now.
post #37 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

SNIP

It's not clear if Microsoft intentionally timed its retail store opening with the launch of iPhone 4, or if the two events were just coincidental. SNIP

I'm always up for a good conspiracy theory, but considering that apple JUST announced the launch day and store openings take a long time to plan, i think this is tinfoil hat material...
post #38 of 235
It was Feb 09 when it was announced that MS would open a couple of retail stores that would be similar to the Apple Stores.

It's now June 10 and they're finally opening their 4th outlet? How many stores around the world did Apple open in their first year and some months? Looks like a winning strategy for MS.

Looks like the next location will be the old Computer Plus digs in the strip mall on Mary & Fremont in Sunnyvale (Hi Dick & Mark & Lucy!)

@CIM 310: That picture is worth a thousand words! Priceless.
post #39 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Halfen View Post

... both giants AND dwarves!

"dwarfs"
post #40 of 235
Does anyone really care?
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