Do We Need an Apple-like Microsoft Store?
As we all know, the Microsoft Store consists of retail stores and an online shopping site owned and operated by Microsoft. Microsoft uses this method to "improve the PC and Microsoft retail purchase experience for consumers worldwide and help consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases." Others can say, "hey Microsoft, stop copying Apple's idea."
The Apple showroom is a great way for one to see and play with many of Apple's great products. You have people who are knowledgeable about the products and a showroom environment showcasing these products. Microsoft, on the other hand, makes too many products. People can argue that Microsoft is not a lifestyle but simply a corporation, we disagree. Microsoft has the potential of creating a store environment that caters to potential buyers. Perhaps copying Apple's idea of a store might not be a good idea but instead, work on creating their own model of selling products. Microsoft can always boost its sales at its new stores buy launching software or game titles exclusively at these stores.
Microsoft Genius bar? Apple offers a great service at its Apple stores called Genius Bar. If you are having computer troubles, there is always someone to help you out. You can even sign up for free computer classes. The big question is, can Microsoft do the same thing? It seems like it is harder to have a Microsoft Genius bar because in the world of Windows, there are, as PCWorld puts it, an "infinite array of PCs from many, many manufacturers." How can Microsoft have an expert who knows it all? For example, a Microsoft Store can't fix an Acer PC you bought from Best Buy. However, Microsoft always has the potential of opening up its own "Answer Desk" type store for Microsoft users. This could hurt all those privately owned computer repair shops, but would benefit Microsoft.
We know Apple can stock almost all of its product line in its Apple stores but can Microsoft do the same? What if they have a two-story store, would that make a difference and entice you to go to them to purchase their products? Apple can showcase their iPhones easily but can Microsoft showcase every Windows Phone 7 handset on display?
Apple benefits from its Apple store concept because it was hard to find Apple products for sale or salespeople who were knowledgeable of Apple products. By having a store specific to Apple products, people can walk in and look around and ask questions. By seeing a lot of Apple stores inside local malls, Apple has also attracted the younger crowd. Microsoft, on the other hand, can benefit from this concept but will have a hard time being as popular as the Apple Store. Perhaps opening up a store specific to the Windows Phone brand might be a better idea.
Post your thoughts in the comments. Are you for or against the idea of an Apple-like Microsoft Store?