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Microsoft to open high-street shops

Microsoft to open high-street shops

Microsoft's version of an Apple Store includes smart shopping trollys, Surface-enabled desktops, and "I'm a PC" t-shirts for staff.

Plans are afoot at Microsoft to defy the credit crunch and high-street slowdown by creating Microsoft-branded shops – in direct competition with rival Apple's own stores.

As reported over on Engadget, the company is looking to create retail stores which will sell its hardware and software products – including gaming and business related items.

The stores themselves will be equipped with all mod-cons with shopping trolleys including integrated computers and displays to help people shop, Surface-enabled displays dotted around to wow people into picking up a Zune or two, and Microsoft's new 'Tags' mobile barcode dotted around the place for the smartphone equipped shopper to bring up product information and downloads on the fly.

The rollout of the new stores will be the responsibility of Microsoft's latest executive hire, former Dreamworks SKG man David Porter – who joins the company in the newly-created role of corporate vice president of retail stores. Porter hasn't been picked purely for his familiarity with ill-tempered ogres – although that'll surely come in handy for meetings with Ballmer – but rather for the twenty five years he spent at retail giant Wall-Mart before joining Dreamworks back in 2007.

Porter claims to be “excited about helping consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases” and wants to reassure the company's many OEM and retail space customers that anything the company learns from running its own stores will be shared out.

Can you imagine wanting to shop in a Microsoft-branded high-street shop, or should the company leave the flashy store fronts to Apple? Share your thoughts over in the forum.

16 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
steveo_mcg 16th February 2009, 10:03 Quote
Perfect, now the anarchists can petrol bomb them instead of the local maccy d's. One must have ones priorities straight.
kenco_uk 16th February 2009, 10:11 Quote
I can imagine the shop sign saying 'Open' on one side and 'BSOD' on the other.

I'd imagine London is where the first shops will launch. Where else will these shops then be springing up? I'd quite like a local one based in Peterborough, Spalding, Grantham or Stamford.
Pookeyhead 16th February 2009, 10:17 Quote
Quote:

The stores themselves will be equipped with all mod-cons with shopping trolleys including integrated computers and displays to help people shop.


LOL.. Fab! I always find myself thinking this in Sainsbury's, "If only I had a computer aided trolley, as this shopping malarky is just too difficult. I mean, they expect me to select the products I want, then place them in the basket? Get real Mr Sainsbury"

The more MS try to "fight back" against Apple, the more they look desperate. The "I'm a PC" ads made me cringe. Why do they bother?
ChaosDefinesOrder 16th February 2009, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
I can imagine the shop sign saying 'Open' on one side and 'BSOD' on the other.

I'd imagine London is where the first shops will launch. Where else will these shops then be springing up? I'd quite like a local one based in Peterborough, Spalding, Grantham or Stamford.

It would amuse me more if the doors said "Start" instead of "Push" :-)
Pookeyhead 16th February 2009, 10:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
It would amuse me more if the doors said "Start" instead of "Push" :-)


I bet they do. If I was in charge of designing these stores, that's exactly what I'd do. Although in reality, some health and safety idiot would probably object in case there's a fire and some retard kept pushing instead of having the intellect to try pulling instead.... (sigh).
Nexxo 16th February 2009, 11:06 Quote
In that case I'd say that natural selection should take its course.

It could have "Log In" on the outside of the door and "Log Out" on the inside. :p
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead
The more MS try to "fight back" against Apple, the more they look desperate. The "I'm a PC" ads made me cringe. Why do they bother?
Actually, it is a clever bit of advertising. It is taking ownership of a negative marketing concept by Apple and turing it around into something positive.
proxess 16th February 2009, 11:19 Quote
The first stores will definitely be in the US... then London... and thats about it. Wish there was one here so I could, as stated above, petrol bomb. Priorities, priorities. Don't let me down UK dwellers. Don't forget the Sex Pistols.
kenco_uk 16th February 2009, 11:33 Quote
Very doubtful I'll see one in my lifetime then, if they are only going to be in major cities.
digitaldave 16th February 2009, 12:30 Quote
it will drive more MS partners away from MS only support and service.
impar 16th February 2009, 12:51 Quote
Volund 16th February 2009, 13:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

and that is why I no longer read PC world
FuzzyOne 16th February 2009, 13:45 Quote
I thought this was to showcase ms tech being used in retail outlets, I assume thats gonna be there focus and not joe public
zimbloggy 16th February 2009, 16:25 Quote
Yeah, customers are definitely going to need more help considering the dozens of versions that are going to come out for windows 7.
HourBeforeDawn 16th February 2009, 18:18 Quote
I think this could be a great idea. :)

Although I can see it now... sir sir I need help my shopping cart has this blue screen on it, what does that mean... lol
n3mo 16th February 2009, 19:22 Quote
Yeah, Micro$oft customers will need every aid they can possibly get, that's how you live with IQ lower than your waist (given in inches). Oh well, back to pouring my petrol...
C-Sniper 16th February 2009, 20:56 Quote
I think I might have to start spray painting a little penguin on all these stores.
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