The Empire Strikes Back …wards*
According to sources close to the company, CEO Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner are both hot on the idea of matching — or even surpassing — Apple’s retail presence of over 300 stores. The stores are a big reason for Apple’s success in the last decade, as they give customers opportunities to play with products like the iPad and iPhone.
But Microsoft has only opened 8 stores in the year and a half since it launched its retail initiative, and has only announced two more, in Atlanta and Seattle, for a total of 10.
The reason: the stores are expensive to build — Microsoft wants them to be high-profile showcases like Apple stores are — and most of them aren’t making money.
My friends always roll their eyes when get into Microsoft-bashing.
With stories like this, though, I don’t even have to try.
*I stole the title for this post from one of the juicy comments on the original story.