In an attempt to change their image as not being appealing directly to consumers, Microsoft plans to open up stores around the U.S. in an attempt to create a environment where they can have trained retail associates on duty to better help the buyers get what they need from the computer. Alongside selling computers we can expect them to have all the latest Microsoft Zune players and accessories all in one place which will help for those who do not like dealing with Best Buy.
Really appealing directly to the consumer is the main concern for Microsoft here, in recent market changes they lost a full percentage of the market two months in a row while Apple grew to have 10% of personal computer sales. This is not the first attempt by Microsoft to open a retail store in 1999 they had a store in downtown San Francisco however it closed not long after due to the blue screen on death, er, I mean to say due to other shops in the area closing down as well (area desirability?.)
Personally I am excited to see what the stores will look like, Apple has unveiled some pretty cool stores and now it is Microsoft’s turn. I expect to see Xbox 360’s blaring and Zune advertisements everywhere and hopefully on the desktops of the latest of what Microsoft has to offer in the handheld/personal computer category. Microsoft has already hired a retail lead to head the project, David Porter, who is a dreamworks exec with 25 years under his belt as a Wal-mart’s VP and general merchandise manager of entertainment. All I can say is lets hope the service received at the Microsoft store chains is better than finding out what all these error codes mean in Vista.