This weekend I read where Microsoft is planning some retail stores along the lines of the successful stores that rival Apple has. If Microsoft hasn’t finalized the design of the stores, I’ve got some ideas.
#1 – EULA Entrance – Before a prospective customer can enter the Microsoft store, they’ve got to sign an End-User License Agreement. This agreement says that any thought, idea, suggestion, etc. a customer has is now the property of Microsoft. Also, anything anyone sees or experiences must be held in the strictest confidence. You know, nothing makes a customer feel special like telling them they are not trusted and they will be taken advantage of.
#2 – The Blue Screen of Deals wall display – Here prospects can type in their most favorite blue screen of death error code (mine is 000000000x10F) and see what kind of discounts you can get today. Just think of how many people can get one of those old BOB interfaces for free with this!
#3 – The End-Cap of Innovation (This display will be ready sometime in 2025)
#4 – The Rack of (paid for) Analyst Papers – Here prospective customers can get all sorts of collateral that helps them understand why:
- Microsoft Vista is better than XP - Microsoft Zune beats the iPod - Windows me is better than the American Motors Gremlin - Etc.
#5 - The USER ACCOUNT CONTROL ride – This is like one of those amusement park rides with one big difference. Every time the ride wants to bank, drop, accelerate, etc., the ride immediately stops and each user is asked if they want to actually complete the ride. I can already see the pundits re-naming this ride to: THE BUZZ KILLER.
#6 – The Amber Waves of Grain carpeting – Microsoft will install amber-colored carpeting throughout the store. They’re hoping customers will see the similarity between this and their Great Plains product. Sadly, customers will see it as a carpet that hides dirt well.
#7 –The OFFICE match game– Here customers get to play an interactive game where they match the most ineffective characters of the television show The Office with equally ineffective or useful functions and features of Microsoft Office. High scorers get to use ribbon bar technology on the 37th level of fun!
#8 – Microsoft Works activity center – It’s unclear whether this exhibit will still be working by the time the stores open.
#9 – Windows Update center – This will be the name of the checkout area. Why? It’s where customers will have their bank accounts “Updated” (i.e., made poorer). Moreover, customers get updated just for stopping in. They don't even need to buy anything. The updating occurs at the store, later at home and every Tuesday thereafter. Think of it as the purchase that keeps on giving and giving and .....
Got any ideas you'd like to pass along to Microsoft? Send'em in via the comment block.