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Best Buy + Windows Guru = Apple Store Experience?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the better-paid-than-geniuses dept.

Microsoft 600

CWmike writes "As part of Windows Vista's $300 million marketing rehab, Microsoft will hire an initial wave of 155 'Windows Gurus' to walk around Best Buy and Circuit City stores to answer customer questions and defend Vista's reputation against skeptics, reports say. Gurus will earn $20 an hour or more, plus benefits. (Apply here.) One way Windows Gurus will differ from Apple Geniuses is that they are not intended to be sources of free technical support for existing Vista users. 'The Guru role is to help sell Windows-based PCs. It is not to be an alternative tech support channel for Microsoft as this has no financial return beyond improved customer satisfaction,' Baker said. One reason: Windows Gurus could end up 'lightning rods for customers' frustrations with Vista.'"

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Now we know who's been Bogarting the Sativa (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24979907)

We'd... um... like to be like that company... that sells that O/S... that every one like... likes.

So we're going to send out these expensive sales people... to hype our product... but not stand behind it like the other guys do... because that would... be like work, man.

The Application Form is a CIA intelligence jog (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980429)

To find what kind of creature you are:
 
 

19. All positions require the successful completion of a thorough background check and multiple-panel drug test prior to the start of your employment. This drug test will require that you furnish evidence that you possess a current, valid prescription for any "by-prescription-only" substance identified in the analysis of your results. Are you willing to undergo these two procedures as a condition of employment?
Required
20. Have you been convicted of a felony in the past 7 years?

What does this have to do with software?

Re:Now we know who's been Bogarting the Sativa (5, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980495)

ok, several things:

  1. real stoners don't call weed 'Sativa', as Cannabis Sativa has a low ratio of THC to CBD and also lower levels of cannabinoids in general, thus they are generally only used for manufacturing hemp, not for recreational ingestion. brick weed is generally of these strains because Sativa is much hardy as a plant, and also produces higher yields.
  2. pot smokers will, however, sometimes refer to weed as "Indo," as in Cannabis _Indica_, because it is the more potent subspecies and the one primarily cultivated as a drug source. strains referred to as Chronic are generally only bred from Indica strains, though they are sometimes cross-bred with Sativa, sacrificing potency for volume.
  3. the attitude displayed here is one of shortsighted greed, plain and simple. they want to attract customers & increase sales, but once they've got your money they don't give a damn about you anymore. that is the attitude Microsoft is expressing. i don't know what that has to do with pothead stereotypes.

Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (5, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979913)

FTA: The good thing is that Microsoft will be able to get Windows explained appropriately on the sales floor.

Oh my God, does this sound ominous. Any Best Buy employee explaining Windows "inappropriately" will be taken out back by a Windows Guru and "evangelized".

Re:Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (2, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979991)

I think "explained appropriately" is all in the eye of the beholder.

Re:Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (4, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979999)

FTA: The good thing is that Microsoft will be able to get Windows explained appropriately on the sales floor. Oh my God, does this sound ominous. Any Best Buy employee explaining Windows "inappropriately" will be taken out back by a Windows Guru and "evangelized".

It's Windows we're talking about here; not OSX.

Re:Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (5, Funny)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980195)

FTA: The good thing is that Microsoft will be able to get Windows explained appropriately on the sales floor. Oh my God, does this sound ominous. Any Best Buy employee explaining Windows "inappropriately" will be taken out back by a Windows Guru and "evangelized".

It's Windows we're talking about here; not OSX.

Precisely, if it was OS X it would be the customers taking the employee outback, not the company rep.

Re:Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (3, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980573)

OK, so they'll either:

1. Have a chair thrown at them
2. Have their F***ING air supply cut off!

Re:Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (3, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980059)

Any Best Buy employee explaining Windows "inappropriately" will be taken out back by a Windows Guru and "evangelized".

"This sucks - avoid it" is appropriate, although perhaps not what they intended.

Re:Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (5, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980139)

As a newly hired Windows guru, I pledge to teach breathing exercises, tantric meditation, and contemplation of your inner penguin.

Re:Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980329)

That's why they're paid 20 bucks an hour!
Slashdotters - give 'em hell. Here are a few questions to ask:

"Where can I get that Linux thing that everybody's talking about?"

"What's the point of those stupid commercials we keep seeing? It's like Bill Gates has money and likes to mock us."

"Do windows PCs suck as much as the Mac ads say they do? I want to be cool, not old and dumb."

"Why did Windows Vista fuck my wife? I heard it also eats babies and starts wars with defenseless countries."

Re:Anyone named Bruno instantly hired (2, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980555)

what would be good is if everyone that uses Linux would go to BestBuy and look at Windows Vista PCs and mention that they prefer Linux just to get the idea/word across that they are not interested in Vista...

Guru? Not really ... (5, Insightful)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979921)

Only people in marketing could come up with the term "guru" to mean "someone who can't help, and exists to market to you until you give in".

And Microsoft misses one of the myriad small points in why Apple is seen positively by so many people despite having software release management run by a Crurotarsan.

Re:Guru? Not really ... (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979957)

Only people in marketing could come up with the term "guru" to mean "someone who can't help, and exists to market to you until you give in".

OK guys, let's help:

Windows Warriors?
Vista Vultures?
Ballmer's Boys?
Hardy Heron?

Re:Guru? Not really ... (-1, Redundant)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980081)

I think Hardy Heron [ubuntu.com] might be a badly chosen name.

Re:Guru? Not really ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980239)

Whoooosh

Re:Guru? Not really ... (1)

devman (1163205) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980257)

Woooooosh!

Re:Guru? Not really ... (1)

cleatsupkeep (1132585) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980369)

You put the oosh in woosh.

Re:Guru? Not really ... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980397)

Someone needs a little explanation of the joke from the Ballmer Boys.

Re:Guru? Not really ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980525)

Woosh.

Re:Guru? Not really ... (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980491)

Hardy Heron

No, I think Feisty Fawn may be more apropriate...

Re:Guru? Not really ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980141)

Only people in marketing could come up with the term "guru" to mean "someone who can't help, and exists to market to you until you give in".

Actually, see definition 2b at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/guru [merriam-webster.com]

"one who is an acknowledged leader or chief proponent"

These people are "chief proponents." This is actually using the word correctly.

Re:Guru? Not really ... (3, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980161)

But... but... $20 extra an hour?! That'll certainly pull in a few MCPs! Come on!

Re:Guru? Not really ... (2, Funny)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980303)

I wouldn't hire an MCSE for that much. Minimum wage plus a paid lunch break (15 minutes). Max.

Re:Guru? Not really ... (1)

voodoosoup (1353803) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980319)

oh boy! that 70-620 cert will finally come in handy for something! gah.

Re:Guru? Not really ... (4, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980289)

Indeed. These "gurus" are just marketers under a different name. Of course, the intention is to deceive the customer into thinking they are getting impartial technical advice, when in fact they are getting a sales pitch. Some quotes from TFA show that people are already fooled:

"After years of monopolistic behavior, Microsoft is finally recognizing the need for the softer things, dealing with customers in a higher-touch way," said Lisa Bradner, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. "All of our research shows that customers want their hands held. They're tired of being dumped to a Web site where they have to look through some FAQs."

Yet the article points out that the purpose of the gurus is NOT to hand-hold with respect to fixing problems, or even selecting the most appropriate product. Rather, it is to convince the customer to buy a Vista computer. This isn't a "softer" approach: it is another avenue for them to continue their usual (monopolistic?) tactics.

I worry about this because most in-store customers will assume that the "gurus" are providing sound technical advice, but instead they are just trying to get them to buy something. The same could be said of the other store employees, I suppose; but in this case instead of steering the customer towards buying *something*, they will invariably steer the customer towards Vista. Regardless of whether or not it is the right choice for them.

I can see this causing headaches for the stores as well. When a customer seeks out an employee for help, they are typically not aware of the distinction between different departments. Customers may become frustrated when they ask a "guru" for help but said employee can't help them ("I'm looking for a new washer/dryer." "Have you considered this Windows Vista Home Media Center desktop computer?" "WTF?")

No Return Beyond Customer Satisfaction??? (4, Funny)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979939)

So existing customer satisfaction isn't important to Microsoft? Who would have ever thought that?

Well, knock me over with a feather! ;-)

Re:No Return Beyond Customer Satisfaction??? (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980241)

Clearly, they have adopted the cell phone industry model. Next, they'll plant gurus in the parking lots of Apple stores to win the "converted customer" market.

Now THAT is delicious, thank you Jerry Seinfeld, Windows Guru #000000001

Re:No Return Beyond Customer Satisfaction??? (1)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980443)

Actually the person who said that had nothing to do with Microsoft - the summary is misleading. From TFA:

Van Baker, an analyst at Gartner Inc.

Cue the villagers (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979941)

...Windows Gurus could end up 'lightning rods for customers' frustrations with Vista.'"

More like villagers with torches and pitchforks.

Re:Cue the villagers (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980283)

...Windows Gurus could end up 'lightning rods for customers' frustrations with Vista.'"

More like villagers with torches and pitchforks.

My father's name is Zeus you insensitive clod!

'lightning rods' for customer frustrations (4, Funny)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979943)

So does the $20/hr include danger pay?

Re:'lightning rods' for customer frustrations (3, Funny)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980115)

Do people actually get out of bed for $20 an hour? $20 an hour, and a target painted on your back as a Microsoft rep who's supposed know everything about Windows, but won't help you out with your crappy windows computer that you bought last month.

Worst job ever.

Re:'lightning rods' for customer frustrations (1)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980227)

$20 an hour isn't bad pay for someone going to college full time.

Re:'lightning rods' for customer frustrations (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980477)

41,000 a year for a job with a low entry skill is "not bad"? Are you serious? It's 5k above the national average wage.

Re:'lightning rods' for customer frustrations (1)

devman (1163205) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980293)

Needs more hyperbole, I don't think you supplied nearly enough, would go well with a hint more elitism too.

Re:'lightning rods' for customer frustrations (5, Informative)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980395)

Do people actually get out of bed for $20 an hour?

The median household income [wikipedia.org] per resident in the U.S. is $26,036, which works out about $12.50 per hour per person for a 40 hour week.

Re:'lightning rods' for customer frustrations (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980247)

So does the $20/hr include danger pay?

Danger pay is covered, but they don't reimburse you for the cost of your soul unfortunately.

Re:'lightning rods' for customer frustrations (2, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980535)

Soul? Come on, CaptainPatent, there is no such thing as a soul. It's just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson.

riiiiight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24979961)

i think $20 an hour for a "windows guru" to walk around a retail store and "convince the skeptics" sounds appropriate for Vista's legacy.

Re:riiiiight... (1)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980453)

For $20/hr they could just set-out a couple of boxes of free pizza every hour with the Vista logo emblazoned on the box.

Sales Experience (2, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979963)

I've had some sales experience and, yes, these gurus will most definitely be lightning rods for customer frustration...any customer frustration. It doesn't necessarily have to do with Windows Vista.

I had a guy tell me I was an f'ing idiot because I tried to sell him a warranty (AKA do my job) because his printer just broke (after 5 months, which our warranty would have covered). I wasn't pushy, but, man...that was just rude. I certainly didn't cause his $500 printer to crap out. It was nice when our manager kicked him out of the store and told the guy never to talk to his employees that way.

Some people just like treating other people like crap.

Re:Sales Experience (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980201)

So someone bought a piece of equipment, and expected it to last more than 5 months. You tell him that if he wants a printer to have such an epic lifetime he needs to stump up some extra cash, and use the weaselly "just doing my job" defence to avoid taking responsibility for your own actions.

I can see why he was upset.

Re:Sales Experience (3, Insightful)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980469)

I'd be livid if something I bought for $500 broke after only 5 months use, and if I then found out that because I was living in a country with barely any consumer rights I had no way to get this sorted out in a fair manner. I'd rip someone's guts out if they were in any way associated with that purchase.

You have a reasonable expectation at purchase that the goods will last a certain minimum amount of time. One year should be a legal minimum for home electronics purchases. Full stop. It would stop some companies releasing utter crap onto the market as well, and thus the situation would improve for everyone.

Apply here? (5, Funny)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979965)

While the application link is a nice touch, for some reason I think Microsoft may be wary of anyone coming in with a slashdot referer.

Vista Sala (3, Funny)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979979)

Given the commercials, I think it would be more appropriate for them to wander around Foot Locker...

Um, Since When Did BB/CC sell non-windows? (4, Funny)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 6 years ago | (#24979981)

I'm not quite sure I understand the tactic here. Best Buy and Circuit City - last I remember - don't sell Macintosh PCs or Linux/UNIX PCs. Therefore, the person would be in the store to shop for PC's loaded with Windows.

Can I apply?? /me raises hand

Re:Um, Since When Did BB/CC sell non-windows? (4, Informative)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980215)

Best Buy has sold Macs for quite some time. The new-ish BB store not far from me has a small but reasonably nice Apple section.

Re:Um, Since When Did BB/CC sell non-windows? (1)

ronoholiv (1216262) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980237)

Best Buy does sell Apple desktops and laptops; granted, not in every store, but they certainly have them in the DC area.

Re:Um, Since When Did BB/CC sell non-windows? (1)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980243)

Not sure about Circuit City, but Best Buy has for a while now. link here: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=pcmcat128500050006&type=category [bestbuy.com] . Both Future Shop and Best Buy do sell Mac computers. In-store stock isn't always the biggest (that I remember), but they do sell and have for almost 2 years IIRC...

Re:Um, Since When Did BB/CC sell non-windows? (1)

thedak (833551) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980279)

At least here in Canada they actually sell both; they have a whole apple section, and they sell the subnotebooks with *nix, possibly desktops with *nix.

Re:Um, Since When Did BB/CC sell non-windows? (1)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980307)

Best Buy has had Macs for some time now. They even got the iPhone just last week.

Re:Um, Since When Did BB/CC sell non-windows? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980317)

No they would be blindly looking for a Pee cee.. they dont know there are options and therefore are simply cattle being guided into the gates that lead to the rotating knives...

90% of people buying a computer at best buy barely know what a computer is let alone they have differnet flavors and operating systems.

My Best Buy sells Macs (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980381)

The Best Buy here in Overland Park, KS [google.com] (few blocks away from the Sprint headquarters) has an Apple booth near the entrance. I got to see the Macbook Air there for the first time.

Re:Um, Since When Did BB/CC sell non-windows? (1)

cleatsupkeep (1132585) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980563)

Best Buy now sells Apples, and will be getting the iPhone 3G soon.

One way Windows Gurus will differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980005)

Besides being straight?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Guru meditation (4, Funny)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980009)

That's cool, but do they meditate?

They'll be easy to spot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980027)

"Baker said. One reason: Windows Gurus could end up 'lightning rods for customers' frustrations with Vista.'"

That explains the uniform, a helmet and athletic cup.

Vista = Customer Satisfaction? (5, Insightful)

psyque (1234612) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980029)

How could selling Vista machines possibly improve customer satisfaction?

Re:Vista = Customer Satisfaction? (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980053)

Free cake?

Re:Vista = Customer Satisfaction? (1)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980335)

The cake is a lie

Re:Vista = Customer Satisfaction? (1)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980447)

In Soviet Russia, the lie is a cake.

Best Buy + Windows Guru = Apple Store Experience? (4, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980033)

I think I speak for us all when I say...

No.

Re:Best Buy + Windows Guru = Apple Store Experienc (3, Funny)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980089)

It would be true if PC prices were tripled, and the whole interior of the store was white.

Best Buy + Some Guy != Apple Store (4, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980039)

I use Apple and Linux at Home and Windows and Linux at work and I have to say that Apple (like Pixar) does a great job on polishing under the drawers; they don't do anything halfassed in the total experience. They control the product, the store and the whole experience for a reason... to make them look extremely polished and extremely in control.

Until Microsoft opens their own shops and controls their own hardware OEM, they can't quite duplicate the same experience that Apple has at their stores. They only thing they can do is create propoganda in a controlled environment. And Apple already has retail people and retail sections in Bestbuy locations so these MS people are going to have to compete on their turf; Apple people don't compete with anyone in their stores.

Re:Best Buy + Some Guy != Apple Store (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980171)

They control the product, the store and the whole experience for a reason... to make them look extremely polished and extremely in control.

Well, if I ever had a reason to try out an Apple product, you've just destroyed it in that one sentence. What about if I want to use a computer but don't *want* to be controlled?

Re:Best Buy + Some Guy != Apple Store (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980423)

What about if I want to use a computer but don't *want* to be controlled?

One word... Linux. :)

Re:Best Buy + Some Guy != Apple Store (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980487)

They control the product, the store and the whole experience for a reason... to make them look extremely polished and extremely in control.

Well, if I ever had a reason to try out an Apple product, you've just destroyed it in that one sentence. What about if I want to use a computer but don't *want* to be controlled?

Install Linux, otherwise you've got no options.

Re:Best Buy + Some Guy != Apple Store (2, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980351)

Well, and Best Buy is well known for pushing hardware and peripherals over actual support...No matter what you ask them, you always need a new one.

I went in there once trying to get a "real" modem (not a winmodem) and I got told first, that there was no difference between a real modem and a winmodem (lie), and second, that I should just get a new computer because modems were old tech.

Never actually asked any meaningful questions, obviously, because a new computer wasn't going to get my fax server running any faster, but a new modem replace the dead one would have been peachy.

Ask for a KVM switch, they'll try and sell you a monitor, and never, ever, buy a usb cable from them.

Astroturfing in stores. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980067)

Great, so this is a combination of corporate astro-turfing, and Grima Wormtongue.

Big deal. (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980069)

Big deal. They're called manufacturer's sales reps. Tons of companies do it. Manufacturer's reps occasionally do the same with cat/dog food. Why this is considered a "story", I have no idea.

Some Questions To Ask (4, Funny)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980097)

"I'm really interested in Vista, but I can't afford it. Are there any cheaper alternatives?"

"Hey, can I still use X feature of Vista if I downgrade to XP? Why not?"

"Quick question -- when is the next operating system after Vista coming out? I'm really excited about that one. No, I don't know anything about it yet..."

"How does Vista compare to non-Windows operating systems?" (Open ended, should provide some laughs)

"If Vista is so good, why are you being $20/hour to stand around and tell me how good it is?"

Microsoft hireing salespeople to push Vista. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980101)

Windows Vista Guru = salesperson.
Good grief Vista must suck.
Their adds where people try Vista and say gee this doesn't suck.
Their ads with with Gates and Sienfeld.
Until now I thought that Vista was just too much pain for not enough gain. I thought that maybe Windows 7 would be better.
Now I get the feeling that Vista is the Yugo of OSs. It must really suck if they are having to push this hard.
I was going to put Vista 64 on my wife's new PC. Now I am going to rethink that one.

Man, talk about a job that would suck. (2, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980119)

This could be worse than staffing one of the Dell kiosks in a mall where there's an Apple store.

-jcr

Re:Man, talk about a job that would suck. (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980433)

Except many people are actually interested in buying a Dell. See, the human population doesn't entirely consist of frothing Mac/Jobs fanbois.

Re:Man, talk about a job that would suck. (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980559)

"frothing Mac/Jobs fanbois"?

Your witty retorts need a bit of work, sunshine.

-jcr

Guru (1)

notknown86 (1190215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980125)

Sure. And I'll be the guy paid nothing. To push something people don't know they want. Funny thing is - I actually like my job.

So, propaganda then? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980129)

Not to be overly cynical, but this sounds like paying a bunch of people to walk around and try to convince the user that the experience won't suck, has never sucked, and that I'm merely deluded.

I mean, how much of it will be true, and how much of it will simply sound like a sales pitch from someone who drank the Kool Aid?

Man, shopping in most electronics stores is annoying enough -- having some git wandering around stumping for Windows Vista is just one more nuisance to avoid. If I'm standing there looking at a PC, and after I've shooed the salesman away, I don't want to then have to deal with some MS shill.

Hearing that they won't actually be useful sources of information for existing customers only re-affirms my cynicism about this program.

Cheers

I discovered the script for Seattle. (2, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980133)

Looking at where they're hiring [technet.com] I noticed Seattle, WA. I obtained the script that the Gurus will use there. It says, "Buy Vista or else the man on the hill there will find out!"

Good luck with that (5, Funny)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980151)

they are not intended to be sources of free technical support for existing Vista users

Until the people they convinced to buy Vista come back to the store in a black fart of rage looking for blood or someone to kidnap until their machine works like it did before.

Good. Freaking. Luck.

Slashdot not listed on where I saw this Job (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980157)

For some reason they do not list Slashdot in the list of sites to choose from where you heard about the job on the Application form. Strange.

Re:Slashdot not listed on where I saw this Job (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980255)

I think what's funnier is having the application form visible to Slashdotters now.

How many bogus applications do you think they are now going to get from "Mike Rowsoft-Sucks" and "Tux Penguin" do you think they are *now* going to get?

Not a chance (5, Insightful)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980181)

The apple stores centers around 3 things

1) The Genius
2) An army of employees running around to help people
3) A non intimidating open and easy to navigate store

Everything they do hight lights those two things, because they can do your credit card purchase remotely they can spend more time helping people decide. They reserve so much of the store for their training sessions and demo units that the Apple store does not feel like a big box store. I don't have to work my was past cameras, dvd's, home appliances, and video games to get to the computers.

The apple gurus are *not* sales folks and I have had them send me other places rather than buy an over priced adapter (ironically they sent me to best buy) meanwhile the 'The (Microsoft) Guru role is to help sell Windows-based PCs'. Yea thats what MS need more sales pressure at best buy...

Re:Not a chance (1)

jbreckman (917963) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980529)

I was at an Apple store looking to buy Logic Express 8 (which I love), and was talking to an employee about the stuff I would be missing by not having Logic Studio 8.

It was a $300 difference and I only really wanted 10% of the added stuff that Studio had, so I said "Hey, is there a way to just get that one plug-in pack?"

The response? "No... you could always just go find a torrent with it and download that"

I was very impressed :)

Don't bother trying to solve problems... (5, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980205)

"as this has no financial return beyond improved customer satisfaction"

This just says it all about the entire Microsoft experience.

Lucky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980269)

I must be extremely lucky. I bought a PC with Vista on it last Thanksgiving. I have had absolutely no problems with Vista.

Windows Gurus vs Apple Geniuses (1)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980273)

Windows Gurus vs Apple Geniuses... they are more or less the same.

Lets see who'll win the bout. I've been to BestBuy many times since they started selling Macs, and I have yet to find someone who can answer my questions.

Maybe the best guys to hire are the little Linux school geeks in my neighborhood.

Maybe... (1)

Arc the Daft (1340487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980275)

Maybe it's not a good idea to deploy a new product when the majority of the existing user base already has your previous product, which meets their needs.

Maybe it's not good PR to actively try and change the needs of said user base for the sole purpose of getting more users onto your new product.

Maybe it's the most effective thing Microsoft can do...

Who comes up with this crap? (5, Funny)

dave562 (969951) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980277)

What tool in Microsoft land decided to create a highly visible position that can't actually help people with the system? One of the most frequently asked questions directed toward me when I enter any retail establishment is, "How can I help you?" As consumers we are conditioned to expect that people who are employed at a store are there to help us. This is just a PR nightmare waiting to happen. I can see the PC vs Mac commercial already....

[Enter PC and Mac. Each of them has a friend.]

Mac, "Hey PC, who is your friend?"

PC, "This is my [Microsoft store tool]. She's here to tell everyone how great Vista is. I see you have a friend. What does he do?"

Mac, "This is my genius. He helps everyone USE their Apple and answers any technical questions that they may have. PC, does your friend answer technical questions? Does your friend do anything other than try to convince people to spend money on a product and then leave them out in the cold when they have questions about it? Huh? Does he? Or is he just another over paid, worthless, Microsoft marketing..."

PC, "Shut up Mac!"

So? Apple does this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980285)

I know in my country everytime I go into a chain electronics store I'm badgered by those damn Apple "guru" guys in the computer section.
How is this any different?

New Apple Commercial goes: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980309)

Hi, I am a Mac.
and I am a PC.
and I am a Mac Genius.
and I am a Windows Gurus.

$20 and hour? Plus benefits? Sweet .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980313)

I wonder if the benefits include discounts on other Microsoft products, such as, er, Windows XP licenses?

They feast on the computers of the living (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980359)

Maybe they could get Windows zombies [today.com] instead. "Memoryyy ... memoryyy ..."

Seriously, these guys will be the human equivalent of Zunes as far as an answer to Apple goes. "I dunno, reboot and reinstall." How are they going to do more than the local PC shop does?

Only 155? (3, Insightful)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980373)

I guess that's all they could find for a "Guru" willing to accept $20.00 per hour. Sorry, but if you use "expert," "genius," or "guru" in your title, you will not see $20.00 per hour.

Let's "Get The Facts" (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980419)

From the site...

Windows Guru
Full-Time, including week-ends
Retail with highly competitive pay & benefits for a very rewarding position ($20/Hr+)
Requirements
Don't miss out on this unique opportunity:
If you are passionate about changing peopleâ(TM)s lives by changing how they experience technology, apply to join our team today.

Locations
Windows Guru
Store Locations - Please enter the locations of your choice in the resume box of the application form

W Hollywood CA Los Angeles CA Downey CA
Hawthorne CA Torrance CA Pasadena CA
Burbank CA Rancho Cucamonga CA West Covina CA
Chula Vista CA San Diego CA San Bernardino CA
Riverside CA Irvine CA Costa Mesa CA Westminster CA San Carlos CA
San Francisco CA Pleasant Hill CA Dublin CA
Union City CA Oakland CA Mission Viejo CA
Fullerton CA Lakewood CA San Jose CA
Washington DC Hialeah FL Pembroke Pines FL
Miami FL Aventura FL Fort Lauderdale FL
Plantation FL Boca Raton FL Brandon FL
Tampa FL St Petersburg FL
Clearwater FL
Framingham MA
Danvers MA
Rockville MD
Richfield MN
Nashua NH
Salem NH
Manchester NH
Newington NH
Union NJ
Secaucus NJ
West Paterson NJ
Paramus NJ
Henderson NV
Las Vegas NV
New York NY
Staten Island NY
Long Island City NY
Brooklyn NY
Elmhurst NY
Westbury NY
Fairfax VA
Springfield VA
Woodbridge VA
Virginia Beach VA
Newport News VA
Bellevue WA
Seattle WA
Tukwila WA
Tacoma WA

The $20/hr number has got to be some weird concoction of contractor-base+commissions. Knowing Microsoft, base pay is probably pathetic. The key here being Microsoft wants to sell hard with Worst Buy during December. I wonder if the computer brands are kicking in for this one... From the stores mentioned in my area, I'm guessing these stores perform well with a higher likelihood that they'd sell lots of PC's.

This gives you an idea how out of how dominant Microsoft is. A manufacturer like HP can't even afford to do something like this. My fondest hope is that Microsoft is under some pressure from Worst Buy to improve performance.

It will be very interesting to see Worst Buy's Q4 performance next year and what excuse they use for poor sales.

Different? (1)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980451)

How will this be any different from the salestards that already work at BBuy? I went with my dad to buy a video card recently, and my dad mentioned that he went back to XP on his laptop. The salesguy got very defensive, saying that Vista is TEH MOST AWSOME OS EVAR, and that it runs perfectly on his machine. As it turns out, he was running Vista Ultimate with 6GB of RAM.

Line (1)

petehead (1041740) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980471)

I'm pretty sure that BB would have no problem replicating that huge line I always see at the Apple Store.

FAILlZORS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24980483)

at8 least.' Nobody own luBe, beverage,

BSOD not enough? (3, Funny)

mikeboone (163222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980533)

I guess the BSOD was not enough? Now they want to have gurus [wikipedia.org] too?

Yet another poor job of ripping off Apple (1)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 6 years ago | (#24980549)

Just as the Zune was an inferior rip-off of the iPod [slashdot.org] with key features disabled, so this is an inferior ripoff of the Apple Genius concept. Why does Microsoft continually cripple their own efforts? Do they actually hate themselves that much? It's like the parable of the scorpion and the frog [allaboutfrogs.org] . Just as the scorpion can't keep from killing himself by stinnging the frog, so Microsoft can't help making their ripoffs inferior to the Apple original; it's just their nature.

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