Microsoft to open retail stores near Apple's this fall

Microsoft to open retail stores near Apple's this fall

Summary: Microsoft is planning to open the first of its planned retail stores next to existing Apple stores this fall. Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, told partners the news during his Worldwide Partner Conference keynote on July 15.

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TOPICS: Apple, Microsoft
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Microsoft is planning to open the first of its planned retail stores next to existing Apple stores this fall.

Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, told partners the news during his Worldwide Partner Conference keynote on July 15. A number of attendees tweeted Turner's words immediately.

Microsoft officials announced in February that Microsoft was planning to open retail stores but have offered few details since that time as to what the stores would look like or when they'd open. I did hear from some Softies that the stores wouldn't be clones of Apple's, and that they'd be more showcases than actual retail outlets.

Turner told Partner show attendees that the knowledge Microsoft gained from running the stores would be "shared with partners."

According to partners attending the conference, Turner said Microsoft wouldn't be imitating Apple; it would be innovating with the new stores. Earlier this year, Microsoft officials said the stores would be more about building Microsoft's consumer brand than distribution.

Microsoft hired David Porter, a former Dreamworks Animation and Wal-mart exec, as Corporate Vice President of Retail Stores earlier this year.

Microsoft is set to make Windows 7 generally available on October 22. No word so far if the Microsoft retail stores will open around that same date. I've asked Microsoft for more information -- where the stores will be located, how many will open this fall, etc. No response so far.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson provided the following statement, for what it's worth:

"As we progress on our retail strategy there will be scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple.  We are on track to open stores in the Fall timeframe.

"Beyond that we have no additional details to share."

Topics: Apple, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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299 comments
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  • Brave, but who's going to show up?

    That MS dude from the Apple ads?

    Those store will be gone in say 8 months.
    nizuse
    • The majority of people who do not

      waste their money on Apple products? Or maybe the people who where taken in by the Apple or Linux fanboys FUD?

      It would be a nice place to see a Windows Home Server in action, or some new XBox add ons?

      alot of things they could showcase.

      If Apple has proved anything, it is the power of advertising.
      GuidingLight
      • You have so many ...

        ... questions in your post, it's as if you are clueless of what your employer is doing.

        ^o^
        <br>
        n0neXn0ne
        • My employer?

          Now that [i]is[/i] humorous. And and old trick on your part: attempt to paint "your opponent" as something other then they are, in an attempt to garner other's support, not thru "earning" their trust, but instead by misdirecting or scaring it away from your opponent.

          Not unlike the tricks that Satan employs.

          Oh my! Does that meen your employer is... Satan?!?!?
          GuidingLight
          • Same tactics Apple employees

            [i]And and old trick on your part: attempt to paint "your opponent" as something other then they are, in an attempt to garner other's support, not thru "earning" their trust, but instead by misdirecting or scaring it away from your opponent.[/i]

            Sounds like an Apple commercial.
            trance2tec
          • TRUE!

            So very very true
            rjohn05
          • SATAN (Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks)?

            Damn, you must be a really old security nerd! And it was a product, not a company or corporation! Or would you be referring to a fallen angel from some popular (though questionable) theologies that borrows from several sources.
            B.O.F.H.
          • And here I though he was doing his impersonation

            of the "Church Lady" from SNL :)
            John Zern
      • In other words. MS Sheeple.

        OK.
        Bruizer
        • Only sheeple when MS is the topic

          Apple buyers are not sheeple, only MS supporters
          are sheeple. How else can the mactards justify
          there hipocracy
          davidhite
          • what hypocrisy is that?

            "Apple buyers are not sheeple, only MS supporters
            are sheeple. How else can the mactards justify
            there [sic] hipocracy [sic]"

            If you are going to impugn the intelligence of others, you could at least
            have the forethought to spell and grammar check your post.
            SpiritusInMachina
          • why

            like it would make the slightest bit of a difference if he did.

            "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
            gnesterenko
          • Why

            Well, because if you are going to make comments insulting someone's
            intelligence, and call them hipocrites [sic] then it hurts your argument
            when you make stupid errors, and makes you the hypocrite.

            That said, it has also been my experience that, although not a priori
            true, people who routinely make spelling and grammar errors (as
            opposed to typos) generally also lack the intellectual rigor necessary to
            make a cogent, well-thought out argument.
            SpiritusInMachina
          • Come now Deus

            I wonder how good Einstein's spelling and grammar was? ;)
            John Zern
          • Auf Deutsch?

            Actually, In german his grammar and spelling were rather good. He
            scored top marks. His supposedly poor grades in school are a myth.
            SpiritusInMachina
          • Speaking of grammer checking...

            You missed one...

            It's "THEIR", not "THERE Hippocracy..."
            Wolfie2K3
          • Sheeple?

            Haven't seen that word in Webster's yet, but I get your meaning. Since I assume an Apple fan labeling a MS fan like that is making the argument that because there are so few Mac owners compared to PC owners, that Mac owners are superior because they don't follow the PC sheep. If so, then what does that make iPod owners? Yes, glass houses and rocks...
            BigTipper
          • Hipocracy

            A Hipocracy is a government run by Hippopotamuses !
            Jkirk3279
          • Hmm...

            Whilst I agree with your sentiments, David, I'm afraid your command of English somewhat undermines your message.
            richard.gardner@...
      • RE: alot of things to showcase

        I think the biggest problem with the idea of a Microsoft store is going
        to be what is there to buy? There are obvious things they could offer
        that they make (or are made specifically for Microsoft products) but it
        becomes a question when you start talking about computers and the
        like.

        For example, it makes perfect sense for them to display and offer
        XBOX items and Zunes. You can come in, try out a game, screw around
        with a Zune, even see what XBOX Live is all about. If you like any of it,
        great news... you can buy it all there!

        Now take that same example with a laptop. You come in to try
        Windows 7 on a new machine. Which computer do they display to let
        you try it out on? Is it a Dell? A Viao? A random netbook? Can you buy
        it there? Is it a actually a clean install of Windows and various
        applications, or is it loaded with all the crapware you get from OEMs?

        Can you try out Windows Mobile devices? Can you buy any WinMo
        phones there? If so, which ones? From which manufacturers? From
        which carriers?

        Can you walk in and talk to a Genius? (according to Microsoft's earliest
        rumblings about the stores a couple years back, yes you will be able
        to talk to Microsoft Gurus) Can you get support? Can you take your 3-
        month old Dell mini in because the screen is flickering?

        I'm not saying Microsoft can't overcome this all. They're a massive
        company with a ton of financial resources they can put behind this
        effort, but it is going to represent a huge challenge for them. One of
        the reasons the Apple Store works so well is because you can do all of
        that. If you're going to look at iPods, you can play with them in the
        store and walk out with one if you so desire. Same goes for every Mac
        model offered, iPhones, monitors, etc. If you're experiencing some
        issue with Mac OS or an application, you can talk to a Genius and walk
        out with an answer to your problem. If your MacBook screen flickers,
        you can take it in, have it checked out, and get something done about
        it, all in a very relaxed environment.

        My wife's MacBook Pro was experiencing problems booting up one
        day. The next day we drove up to the Apple Store to have them look at
        it. Went in around 10:30, they diagnosed it and completed a repair
        while we ate lunch. It was a great customer service experience. That's
        they type of thing Microsoft is going to be up against ESPECIALLY if
        they're specifically targeting areas nearby Apple stores to start this
        adventure.
        JakAttak