Apple may not be Microsoft's biggest retail challenge

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    lafelafe Posts: 252member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 91
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 91
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 91
    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..
  • Reply 5 of 91
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,768member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 91
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    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."
  • Reply 7 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 91
    lafelafe Posts: 252member
    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 . . .
  • Reply 9 of 91
    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!
  • Reply 10 of 91
    hutchohutcho Posts: 132member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 91
    morkymorky Posts: 192member
    deleted
  • Reply 13 of 91
    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!
  • Reply 14 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 91
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    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...
  • Reply 17 of 91
    slapppyslapppy Posts: 331member
    Amazing how hard Microsoft is trying to compete against a company with a mere 9% market share.
  • Reply 18 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 91
    plovellplovell Posts: 818member
    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
  • Reply 20 of 91
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,028member
    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?
Sign In or Register to comment.