First Apple, Microsoft retail stores to face off in California

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 123
    this will make a great plot point for Pirates of Silicon Valley 2!
  • Reply 2 of 123
    cbswecbswe Posts: 116member
    Those answer/windows bars will have queues that begins outside the store
  • Reply 3 of 123
    originalgoriginalg Posts: 383member
    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"
  • Reply 4 of 123
    tdg911tdg911 Posts: 7member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 123
    teunisteunis Posts: 23member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 123
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,608member
    Odd locations to me, unless MS wants to be able to shuffle it under the carpet when it fails...
  • Reply 7 of 123
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Suddenly I can't seem to get the odd couple theme music out of my head...
  • Reply 8 of 123
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 123
    taurontauron Posts: 911member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 123
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    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...
  • Reply 11 of 123
    c4rlobc4rlob Posts: 277member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 123
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 123
    thanx_althanx_al Posts: 70member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 123
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 123
    rbonnerrbonner Posts: 635member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 123
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    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
  • Reply 17 of 123
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,036member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 123
    alpichalpich Posts: 96member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 123
    jawportajawporta Posts: 140member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 123
    jawportajawporta Posts: 140member
    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"



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