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Microsoft Retail Stores? Sounds Kinda Lame

I had read several weeks ago that Microsoft was scouting out (maybe already building out) retail spots in advance of a push to get closer to its customers. That appears to be a growing reality as the Microsoft Jobs Blog has posted an entry that they are hiring. It was confirmed in early reports that some outlets will be opened next door to Apple stores. This just seems lame to me. The product they are offering seems ubiquitous in the retail world, and I might even argue a commodity.

Apple is a different story. Apple designs an end to end platform – an experience. Their outlets are staffed by passionate people who understand that and help explain it to the masses. Microsoft makes bits that can be strung together to do a bunch of different stuff, but I don’t need to touch it to understand the difference. Besides, Dell, HP, etc designs the hardware platform, Microsoft is just the stuff that sits on top.

Maybe I’m completely wrong and will need to go into one of these Microsoft stores to be re-programmed. I wonder what their equivalent of the Genius Bar will be — maybe the Voodoo Lounge?

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