Microsoft Stores: Throw in the Towel

Microsoft tried to clone the Apple Store. It still hasn’t worked:

Microsoft’s stores have a warm decor, plenty of helpful staffers and an array of PCs, phones and devices. They could use a few more customers, though.

It’s hard to know exactly how the stores are doing since Microsoft won’t comment on either sales or traffic figures. It is fair to say, though, that it is not uncommon to visit stores in which workers outnumber customers.

In San Francisco, even the tiny Amazon kiosk a floor below often has more customers than the far larger Microsoft store.

This is a remnant of the Steve Ballmer Era Microsoft.

They can probably afford to keep them running, but I’d throw in the towel.

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Does Microsoft Create Objects of Desire?

Peter Bright at Ars Technica on the new flagship Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue:

There are still weaknesses of the Microsoft store compared to the Apple store; Apple’s stores are much stronger from a support and maintenance perspective, and this gives both Apple’s hardware and stores a kind of desirability that the PC world can’t currently match. Pointedly, Microsoft also lacks anything with the appeal of the iPhone. Overall, however, Microsoft is slowly developing a retail presence that makes sense, and it will attract new and more customers. The Microsoft stores are still first and foremost marketing exercises, but we don’t think it’s too long before customers will consistently outnumber the staff, putting the stores on the road to retail success.

Apple creates objects of desire.

It’s yet to be seen if people think Microsoft creates objects of desire too.

Because at the end of the day, it’s people who’ll be voting with their wallets.