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Celebrate Your Next Birthday At the Microsoft Store

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the innovation-on-display dept.

Microsoft 301

theodp writes "Chuck E. Cheese, meet Bill H. Gates. A leaked PowerPoint posted at Gizmodo provides a glimpse of what Microsoft's retail shops may look like, noting that you'll even be able to pay to celebrate your birthday there. Some of the stores that were profiled for ideas were Nike, Nokia, Sony, Apple, and AT&T. Microsoft's take on the Genius Bar is the Answers Bar (aka Guru Bar, Windows Bar)."

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301 comments

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Will it be next to the furniture store? (4, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823775)

'Cause I'd really like to throw a chair at a Google logo.

MOD PARENT HI-LARIOUS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28823791)

ROFL ROFL ROFL!!!

How does that joke stay fresh??

I salute you, you king of comedy!!

Re:MOD PARENT HI-LARIOUS!!! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824121)

It made me want to post a nigger joke just for contrast.

Re:MOD PARENT HI-LARIOUS!!! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824243)

Consider it a performance-art about Slashdot moderation and how easily it may be manipulated.

Re:Will it be next to the furniture store? (4, Interesting)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824291)

1) ...and there was a breeze because all the windows crashed!

2) ...and I felt kinda blue, because of all the BSODs flashing!

3) ...and through the windows you could see a great Vista!

4) ...and at the bar you can order using the Start Menu!

5) ...and the place was entirely wet because of all the squirting!

6) ...and all of the employees were carrying Notepads!

7) ...and if you're tired you can take a nap, or sleep, or hibernate!

8) ...and the clerk didn't know what I meant, so he said "Bad command or file name"!

*sigh*

Re:Will it be next to the furniture store? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824321)

Disgusting, isn't it?

Microsoft has retail stores? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28823777)

I live in Seattle, even, and I've never seen a "Microsoft Store" in my entire life.

Holy Apple Store Batman. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823841)

I don't think Microsoft has built them yet. But they sure look a HELL of a lot like Apple stores. Right down to the layout.

Re:Holy Apple Store Batman. (2, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823967)

Their Apple envy will be the death of this store idea. One of the huge differences between MS and Apple is that peole don't use MS products because they love them, they use them because they feel they have no choice . Apple users strive to own Apples, while MS users largely resent MS.

Re:Holy Apple Store Batman. (1, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824097)

Of course, if people are "forced" to use Microsoft products it's because their company decided it's the best solution, or they're too stupid to learn something new, or because they can't afford to shell out the price of a used car for a machine they'll only use to read email and news.

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823855)

I think they're still a concept. I'm not an MS basher (I work on whatever makes me money), but this idea for a retail store is stupid - really stupid. Apple pulls it off because they've got flash, Nike pulls it off because they've got the same thing Apple has.

But a Microsoft store? Give me a break. MS has always been a geek company, period. They're software is complex, relative to Apple and they're brand is more power and flexibility driven more than Apple's simplicity and style driven brand. Outside of a borg alcove, I just can't picture a MS store with any "look" whatsoever.

I think this vid puts the distinction between the two brands perfectly... http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=36099539665548298 [google.com]

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823903)

So you're saying the store should be bloated in size and the checkout lines slow?

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824197)

There will be a progress indicator at the checkout, but it will vary wildly between 10 seconds and 10^23 years remaining. You'll also be accosted by store security at least 10 times on the way out to verify that your receipt is genuine.

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (0, Redundant)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823933)

As a person who doesn't buy iPhone because of that fascist store idea, I must use the opportunity to tell RIM, Nokia, MS, Telecoms, whatever to stop photocopying app store.

It doesn't work that way. Simple as that. I am telling as a guy who went to Nokia's millions of dollars wasted Ovi store and got ashamed on behalf of them.

BTW, you know why Apple stores have started up at first place. I don't know if it is a fact or a very good theory but Apple stores have started because Apple computers were actually "becoming invisible" in all that PC laptop circus. As simply every non Apple computer runs Windows, what part of MS is getting lost in process? BTW that is a real effect, I saw some excellently designed, excellent feature set laptop completely becoming invisible when put near tens of other "put some blue led and make screen shine" laptop crap.

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (1)

Zak3056 (69287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823949)

I think this vid puts the distinction between the two brands perfectly... http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=36099539665548298 [google.com]

While it's still a monstrosity, it's interesting to note that the Zune box looks nothing like the parody video suggests it should.

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824003)

Its easy when you can 'innovate' a few years later ;)

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824053)

The Apple store works because Apple's customers are the kind of people that buy their computers from stores. Microsoft has those customers too, and they shop at Best Buy. If they can capture some of those customers, that's profit directly into their pockets.

You're right about that video; while it's cheesy and sophomoric, it does (accidentally) capture the distinction very well. Nobody walking down an aisle sees an iPod and wonders "what is that? let me take a look at the features." Everyone knows what an iPod is and, unless they're rich or Christmas shopping, they already know they're going to get one when they walk in the store and don't need any more convincing than the $100-budget artwork on the plain box. Apple doesn't need anything on their box except the size of the storage. Every music player is called the same name, and customers don't have to know the generation number or anything because they don't have a choice. Microsoft's offerings are more conventional: diverse and complicated.

Microsoft is clearly trying to recreate their consumer image to push ahead on this ridiculous trend [guardian.co.uk] of hip tech. They're going for sleek and simplified, which is obvious in Windows 7. Their packaging is getting simpler and more artistic. Some of their commercials play the quiet-and-confident keep-it-in-the-public-mind honestly-do-we-even-need-to-tell-you-what-our-product-is-because-everyone-already-knows-about-it game. Check out the amazon product description [amazon.com] .. it goes on and on about the simplified interface and clean, innovative ways of interacting faster. I think the Microsoft store is just one arm of that movement. They've got a very modern, artwork-and-buzzword-oriented look with expensive displays and bold, clean colors. It's logical, I guess. But that game is just a huge popularity contest, and counting on fickle teens turning their attention your way is hardly a wise investment on Microsoft's part. Both companies are evil, but Apple is good at keeping its mouth shut and letting the public associate "Apple" with Apple products and not Apple the company. Microsoft's complex agreements with OEMs, retail, and enterprise customers, as well as their more diverse and wordy offerings and their arms in multiple fields (PC games, xbox subscriptions, office apps, software development, operating systems, etc, etc) make that impossible.

Their business side is still mostly consumer-garbage-free. Server is clean anyway.

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (0, Flamebait)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824087)

I'd say it's more that Apple is Geek Chic and Microsoft is more like a bunch of fucking nerds.

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (1)

stuboogie (900470) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824497)

You're one of those people who wouldn't have been caught dead with a computer 25 years ago when technology wasn't utilized by the popular cliques. Now that all those "fucking nerds" have done the work to bring technology into the mainstream culture and it is socially acceptable to be a tech geek, you're going to try to make yourself feel superior because you use a Mac?

Very nice.

Re:Microsoft has retail stores? (3, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824093)

Apple pulls it off because they've got flash, Nike pulls it off because they've got the same thing Apple has.

Flash helps, but I don't think that's the main reason why it works for Apple.

Apple can pull it off because:
They sell hardware. Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, iPod/iPhone...
People walk in, try all the models, and if they buy something they know exactly what they're getting.

Microsoft sells^Wlicenses software.
What the customer demos at the store isn't what they take home with them. That little box doesn't contain the obscenely powerful gaming rig that the customer played with. The only two things in the store that will perform exactly as displayed would be MS's two main hardware products: Zune and Xbox.

That video is professionally made, obviously. (4, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824483)

My understanding is that video, Microsoft iPod parody [google.com] , was made by Microsoft employees [ipodobserver.com] who were annoyed at the way Microsoft operates.

So if it's my birthday (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823787)

Will i be able to bake my own copy of Windows there?

Re:So if it's my birthday (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823809)

No, you still have to do your baking at home...

Re:So if it's my birthday (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824135)

The cake is a lie.

Re:So if it's my birthday (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824475)

Is that you [wiktionary.org] GLaDDOS?

Re:So if it's my birthday (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824103)

No, however they do provide free lube.

Re:So if it's my birthday (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824299)

Only they don't use it when they're reaming you.

whoa (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28823793)

suck it slashfags

donotwant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28823821)

but pretending to have a party hosted there would make a good birthday prank on some people I know . . . :P

Bday! (5, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823829)

"...noting that you'll even be able to pay to celebrate your birthday there."

Will it include, complementary, one or two members of the Vista dev team that decided to break the reasonably good UI in Windows XP? Or one of the Office guys that thought getting rid of menus would be a great idea?

Because then I'd pay to have my birthday party there.

Oh, yes.

Re:Bday! (5, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823863)

Or one of the Office guys that thought getting rid of menus would be a great idea?

They'll be there.

They need someone to put the ribbon on the presents.

Re:Bday! (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824017)

They need someone to put the ribbon on the presents.

Unfortunately, the presents no longer open the way that they always have.

Re:Bday! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28823869)

Wait... you think the Vista UI is broken?

I actually think it's a bit better than XP was.

Oh, you must dislike it because it's different!

I bet you use TWM as your window manager with some classic Motif widgets straight out of 1985!

Down with change!

Re:Bday! (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823893)

Ah, a party with a pinata.

Re:Bday! (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823917)

No, you'll have to buy that [microsoft.com] separately.

Re:Bday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28823945)

(Postig anyonmously be cause I"m drunk) Wow I can leave it at that actually

Re:Bday! (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824273)

Menus with modal dialogs are inefficient and stupid. And they always were. Button bars are even worse for software where you mostly use the keyboard.
You are just being used to that horrible joke that MS Office used to be.
The new concept is a bad copy (as usual) of the InfoBox of Lotus SmartSuite programs (like WordPro). Not as bad as what they had before thought. But still worse than the original.
The idea is to see menus, icon bars and property dialogs as one thing. So you make them one thing. Which means you can change the state of your selection, run functions on it, etc. All with just one click. (Here is where it is bad, and where Lotus did it wrong too.. switching to the mouse? in a text editor? wtf?)
Not three clicks and then a stupid modal dialog. Not this pointless separation of menus, buttons and dialogs.

Of course, somehow, the MS Office variant still is some mutation of a menu concept, with everything thrown in there without a proper basic philosophy behind it.

But hey, at least it's a step into the right direction. I bet OpenOffice will imitate it soon. Just as unfortunately every open source software is imitating existing products. (KDE and Gnome both are nearly indistinguishable from Windows if you do not look closer, Firefox is taken from Opera, OpenOffice is the son of what MS Office imitated but nowadays it's the other way around, Amarok is a copy of iTunes, Thunderbird wants to become an Outlook, Compiz was made to get the visual FX of MacOS X and Vista, etc, etc, etc. Don't get me wrong. I love open source and fully support it. But that argument, to make it "more similar, so users will understand it" sickens me, because of its needy, weak, non-leading-and-never-will-like and chode-like (the PUA term) mindset.)

Re:Bday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824293)

... Or one of the Office guys that thought getting rid of menus would be a great idea?

You're bashing the metamind who did away with top-down structured menus and replaced them with Task Objects? Fossil.

It's my b-day, I want an iPhone, an iMac, and .... (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823873)

I'm a spoiled tecno-weenie and I only want the best high-end stuff [slashdot.org] so make sure when we have the party at the MS store to put an iPhone, an iMac, and an iTouch on my gift registry.

Chuck E. Cheese (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823887)

Will the MS~Store's business go through the roof at the beginning of the month?

Yet again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28823899)

Apple copies Microsoft. Okay so they have had their stores for years but that's no excuse!

Re:Yet again (1)

Knoeki (1149769) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823911)

Actually, if you had said the reverse there might have been a truth in there, rather than a pathatic attempt at a joke.

Personalization (4, Insightful)

intx13 (808988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823915)

I think Microsoft's new campaign of "personalization" is worthwhile, especially as a way to counter the "hipness" of Apple. With Apple you get popularity, but there's no uniqueness. Microsoft gave up on popularity, hipness after the failed Bill Gates/Seinfeld "quirky" commercials. Uniqueness and customization is a good strategy, I think. The "I'm a PC" commercials pushed it and the stores, as per the article, are making it a big focus.

I don't really have any need to buy Microsoft products, but it's certainly interesting. It's new at least, and I think it has a shot at succeeding. Plus, having real people to talk to is a step towards making it easier to use a valid, purchased product than a pirated product, which is step 1 in fighting piracy (the real way).

Re:Personalization (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824011)

If the Zune runs Linux and lets me use open BT wifi on the move, I will get one. :)
If its a sealed "Apple" like unit, I will wait and keep looking :)

Re:Personalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824113)

Mod this flamebait or whatever, but listening to someone complain about Apple's "popularity" and lack of "uniqueness" is like listening to an american christian complain about "repression".

Seriously? Save it for when Winders is sub 20% marketshare.

Re:Personalization (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824179)

I think this is spot on.

If the Microsoft store concept, when fully realized, ends up mimicing the Apple store concept as much as some of the preliminary stuff makes it seem, I have to think that's going to end in failure. Yeah, you can push the 'cool factor' of things like the XBox, but Microsoft just doesn't have (and I don't think will ever have in the foreseeable future) the kind of cult-mindset cool factor that Apple has. I know guys who work retail in Apple stores and essentially are taking a huge pay cut from any number of other retail jobs to do it, mainly because they buy into the whole Apple = cool thing. (Note: I don't claim all of my friends are smart.) Microsoft just isn't going to get that kind of thing going.

But trying to move in a direction of personalization and customization, there maybe they could have something. Yeah, a Windows PC isn't customized in terms of setup or apps or hardware from the perspective of the kind of techie who builds their own machine from parts downloads their own distros, but compared to the (relatively) "one size fits all and you better like it because it's cool" Apple computer mentality, it really can be.

Re:Personalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824317)

I think Microsoft's new campaign of "personalization" is worthwhile

Can I get mine with Linux?

Re:Personalization (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824355)

I don't really have any need to buy Microsoft products

Problem is: Nobody does.

but it's certainly interesting.

And here is where it gets funny:
They will have everybody looking. But nobody buying. Wondering why.
"Why does our hipness not work? Aren't we so cool? What has Apple, what we don't have?"
It's of course, because they are just imitators instead of innovators. Which also happens to be exactly why they will not figure that one out.

Quite funny, isn't it? ^^

___
P.S.: Who wants to form a flash mob at their first store? (Tell all your friends.) We will gather shortly before closing time. Filling more and more of the percentage of the people there. Until the exact moment, when someone asks us all to leave because they are closing, a short nod will go around to everyone, so we know that now is the moment.
And then we will all point to the sales people like Neslon Muntz, go "HAA HAAAA", and leave. All at once. :D
I really hope Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and some camera teams will be there. :D

2 Things: (5, Funny)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823919)

a) How much will a birthday party cost? I'm thinking:
  • ~$250 for the party (If you're 'upgrading' from last year's party, it's only $130)
  • For an extra $50, you can get "special features" which they will eventually be rolled out...we promise :)
  • $45 dollars for a cake, which can be eaten by a maximum of 3 people. If you want more people to eat it, you have to buy another 'cake-eating license'
  • A complimentary grab-bag of malware for every guest

b) I wonder if they'd object if I stood outside and handed out Ubuntu CD's?

Re:2 Things: (5, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824015)

Dont forget MS cake will open both your ports as it runs on your system.

Re:2 Things: (4, Funny)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824237)

Some customers will sneak in at night and have their birthday parties for free. Eye patches will be mandatory.

Follow the Sony example (1)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823921)

Last time I checked, the only Sony store I know of, across from the Moscone Center in San Francisco, closed. Can we persuade MS to take their lead?

                -Charlie

But Sony has unique product line and user profile (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823989)

While Sony isn't very popular on slashdot for obvious reasons, they have some kind of rock solid customer base who keeps buying/upgrading their products.

Used (in fact, restored) a Sony Vaio high end laptop for 2 days, I ended up telling its owner "This thing tries to be Apple but the operating system (Windows) kills the experience". I mean they are really unique in terms of EFI etc.

MS is a general operating system vendor. There is no "Vista Air" to show there.

I can tell what they should stock. Input Devices, lots and lots of them, all models and they should allow people to try them physically.

Also if they will show laptops (which will make excluded partners mad), a tip from me: Use your own products (update services) to make them turn on 08 AM, install all updates, shut down or sleep until shop opens. All without "status windows" which you love. Staring at 20 laptops having that yellow "critical updates available" is really absurd. Hope some computer shops read this. Add "Wireless signal low" and you have complete "don't buy me, I will really fsck up your life" product display.

They don't even think about a shop edition of Windows right? A basic CD could do all the things I said above. While I don't have that MSCE thing, I can do it myself.

Re:Follow the Sony example (1)

frankmu (68782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824161)

Does anyone remember the Microsoft store at the Metreon? It was set up like those temporary holiday sausage stores you see in the mall around christmas time. I couldn't figure it out then either (Microsoft, not the summer sausages)

It'll be a cold day in hell (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823927)

Unless they let me decorate the place.

Decoration including numerous pictures of Tux and banners pronouncing the greatness of Linux.

And the entire party being themed around how Linux is a great desktop OS and Vista sucks.

Maybe someone could have a LUG meeting at their BDay party at the MS store, and invite such illuminaries as Linus torvalds to publicly espouse the virtues of Linux, especially to any shoppers coming to the MS store consider buying Windows laptops.....

Games (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823929)

Spending to have your birthday there would more than likely be to do with games.

It makes sense actually. Get some music playing, play some Xbox or games on LIVE...it's not a bad idea, and certainly not sinister in the least. Arcades have somewhat died in the last few years, so it could very well make sense to book something like this instead of an internet cafe, depending on what you get for the price...

The Microsoft birthday song (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823935)

Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday dear
PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
Technical information: *** STOP: 0x00000050 (0x8872A990, 0x00000001, 0x804F35D7, 0x00000000)
*** ati3diag.dll - Address ED80AC55 base at ED88F000, Date Stamp 3dcb24d0

Re:The Microsoft birthday song (1)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824181)

Good thing they stopped there. If not, they'd be liable for copyright infringement!

Re:The Microsoft birthday song (3, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824371)

Funny, how you clearly pointed out that, as nearly all of the time with such errors, it's a driver problem. And even more fitting, that it's one from ATi. Known for their notoriously bad drivers in all of the game development scene, including Carmack.

They should have called it... (5, Funny)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823947)

the Task Bar.

Re:They should have called it... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824155)

I don't care what they call their bar, as long as the booze is good.

Re:They should have called it... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824401)

I don't care what they call their bar, as long as the booze is good.

Maybe they'll serve a nice shiraz [cobolhacker.com] .

Re:They should have called it... (1)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824269)

How about the Nut Hut.

Serve Beer... (4, Funny)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823971)

At least Chuck E. Cheese lets the parents get a pitcher to ease the pain of the entire experience.

Microsoft better do the same.

Me Too Strategy (1)

xactuary (746078) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823981)

What are they paying their management for exactly? I'll "me too" the marketplace for double what I'm earning now as an unpaid mac fanboi, just for the nice office's free wifi and a hot secretary.

If they bring back the booth babes of E3 (1)

LunarStudio (836038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823991)

Then maybe they could convince people to host their birthdays there.

The Sadness that is Microsoft (2, Insightful)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823993)

What's sad about Microsoft is that they've long stopped innovating... if they ever did.

The Microsoft Store is a ripoff of the Apple Store.
The Zune is a ripoff of the iPod (or a turd... I'm not sure).
Bing and Live before is a ripoff of Google.

They don't create anything any more. They just copy others and wonder why it doesn't work. (Indeed copying others and doing enough versions seemed to work for them. It just doesn't work any longer.)

Even Windows is a ripoff of Windows, and since XP that's been on a downward trend as more apps more to the web. They killed off Windows as a gaming platform with their idiot decision to restrict DirectX10 to Vista. Vista. Vista. Vista....

(Bill Gates wakes up in a cold sweat. "Oh Melissa I've had the most horrible dream...")

Re:The Sadness that is Microsoft (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824091)

A ripoff of the Apple store, because you know, Apple truly invented the concept of having your own retail outlet.

Right.

Even in the computer industry it's not that hard to find examples that preceded Apple.

Sorry, but if you're going to condemn Microsoft with your logic, condemn Apple. Plus, you can do the same for the iPod and Google!

PS, Vista IS Windows. Note how they call it Windows Vista? Not that there's been any real trouble on my part playing games either. The only ones that I had problems with...I had problems with them on XP. Oh Turbine, why oh why must you make such crappy installers!

Re:The Sadness that is Microsoft (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824173)

Even Windows is a ripoff of Windows...

Care to explain?

Re:The Sadness that is Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824469)

You mean, uh... Melinda?

How to decide what to eat? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28823999)

Normally to decide what to eat you would select stuff from a menu. Given the Vista and Windows 7 experience, will it be present but requiring you to do an easter hunt to find it?

Re:How to decide what to eat? (3, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824031)

Menus are so 2006, what to order is now printed on the ribbon they wrap the presents with.

Don't call it the Windows Bar . . . (1, Redundant)

Taedirk (870181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824019)

Call it the Task Bar.

Re:Don't call it the Windows Bar . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824061)

The shareef dont like it

Lockin' the taskbar [pctools.com]

Lockin' the taskbar [sevenforums.com]

oh noes. (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824021)

"I see that you're trying to celebrate a birthday. Would you like help with tha--aARAGGGHHH!"

Another satisfied customer discovers the joy of killing Clippy for his/her birthday.

Pathetic (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824039)

Is Microsoft ever lamer than they are when they're badly imitating someone else's success? They can throw as much money as they want at this idea, but the gig is essentially up for The Bill ... everyone sees Microsoft as the big, monolithic, boring company that's associated with things like spreadsheet drudgery at the office at best, or slow, buggy, crashing computers at worst. They're not hip and trendy like Apple; they're not grassroots like Linux and Open Source; they're not even gee-whiz cutting edge like some of the cell phone companies. They're Microsoft. I'm sure "The Microsoft Store" will be about as well-received as the Zune. For that matter, who's going to bother walking into a store where someone's going to try to sell you a Zune? Customers are going to keep walking right past the store and go get a Cinna-Bon instead or something.

Birthday (1)

palmerj3 (900866) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824049)

If they can get me a pinata of the IE 6 Logo, I'd celebrate my birthday there. The Office paper clip would also be acceptable.

Look... (-1, Flamebait)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824073)

This idea will fail, no one really -likes- MS. I mean, how many people actually go out of their way to make sure that Windows comes with their computer? Its just what comes with it. Similarly, I don't think there is an informed person who actually thinks MS innovates anymore (well, not like they really innovated in the past but they've been more obvious in the past few years). Its impossible to see the Zune as anything other than a rip off of the iPod, Bing as a rip-off of Google/Ask/Yahoo!/Wolfram Alpha/etc. and its impossible to see the MS store as a pathetic attempt to stay relevant in an era where the OS doesn't matter. Apple computers are more or less "luxury" computers, they cost more, in general have better specs and have a (in most people's opinion) better OS. On the other hand PCs got marketshare for being dirt cheap, available anywhere and easy to program with crap code. MS is attempting to reinvent itself as a "luxury" brand similar to Apple. However, it fails because of a few reasons, number one, other than the Zune with questionable design, the 360 with its ability to kill itself with the Red Ring of Death and a few keyboards and mice, MS doesn't have much hardware. Compare this to Apple with a very popular MP3 player, decent laptops, decent desktops and other visibly "Apple" products. Number two, Windows isn't that great. Other than for legacy purposes no one really uses Windows because they really -like- Windows itself. Some people do like Windows only programs but for the OS itself, no one but a few programmers tied into various MS languages really care. And third, MS has -no- competition yet. They -are- the low end of the spectrum. Linux, while gaining momentum is tied into low-end hardware when supplied by an OEM in a big-box store. You can't walk into Best Buy and get a desktop with Linux pre-installed, you might be able to get an EEE with the awful Xandros distro on it if you are lucky, but your not going to find any decent hardware running Linux. So how can MS compete when it has no competition?

Re:Look... (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824137)

its impossible to see the MS store as a pathetic attempt to stay relevant in an era where the OS doesn't matter.

Are you from the future? Because today, the OS sure as hell still matters.

Re:Look... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824165)

How? For the average person they want the application to work. Not the underlying kernel and userland.

I guardsmen you that if WINE had 100% compatibility with no slowdowns you could stick a Windows XP theme on Ubuntu with WINE set to open up all .exe files, install some of the software the person was used to running and they wouldn't know the difference.

Just look at all the iPhone clones, as long as the UI and a few of the apps are there, people will buy it.

Highly Imaginitive (4, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824083)

Dear God in heaven, have these guys *ever* had an original thought? I mean an original though that was good, of course.

Re:Highly Imaginitive (2, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824391)

Yeah. Bill Gates had. Back in the early days. It was: Let's "take" the ideas of others, sell them "so good" that the inventors die, and get rich as hell.

And can you deny that it was one of the best business models anyone ever had? (When you look at his bank account.)

Re:Highly Imaginitive (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824445)

Touche'.

        Brett

Man, did I miss the boat. (4, Funny)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824095)

My parents took me and some friends to Six Flags on my birthday and we rode roller coasters and ate junk food and blasted each other with water cannons and laughed ourselves silly. But if only there had been a Microsoft Store in my day...

Clearly I was born two decades too early. I feel gypped. Today's kids have no idea how lucky they are.

Well, Microsoft has every right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824127)

... to compete. It's Apple that doesn't want everyone else to compete with them.

I am a PC. :)

And what exactly will they be selling? (4, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824195)

Windows 7? Office? and some mice/keyboards?

I don't understand the point? Is there any big product line I am missing, that people actually buy?

As far as I understand it, MS lives from big corporate mass-license sales for Windows and Office. And everything other is pretty much irrelevant.

Sounds to me like the Zune of stores. Something that really nobody cares about, because it's just a knockoff saying "I wanna be just as cool as Apple" (note the "wanna", which is not a "am", and the "just as" which is not a "more" :).

I wonder when Microsoft will stop imitating and start innovating. And I guess: Only when they are forced to. ;)

What are they selling? Culture! (3, Insightful)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824301)

At the time, analysts pooh-poohed the idea of Apple's retail stores originally, too. The retail space was glutted with computers, Apple already had a relationship with CompUSA which was best described as "passive-aggressive," and Gateway's retail concept was defecating the bed. Opening a retail store was the silliest thing they could have done, except it worked for them. They weren't just marketing hardware and software, what they were doing was cashing in on the brand's exclusivity, by creating a boutique space where people could interact with the hardware and ask questions about it.

The problem with Microsoft's concept is that they don't have the same culture to sell. Apple has a niche (albeit a very deep niche) market which supports the notion of exclusiveness (which anyone can conveniently buy into). Microsoft doesn't have that kind of exclusiveness (unless you're talking about excluding people who are using previous versions of their OS on older hardware). What Microsoft will instead find they're selling is ubiquity, and not even a nice sort of ubiquity either. It's more of a fetid, horrid inevitability, not so much like death as spending the holiday with in-laws.

Re:And what exactly will they be selling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824383)

Nope, its not like they have a game console with a giant software library.

Put a natal demo in every store and your bound to pull quite a few people in.

Re:And what exactly will they be selling? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824395)

I'm not sure MS would want to do this, you understand, but there's nothing really stopping them from offering "Geek Squad" paid services.

If Best Buy can service Dells, HPs, and Acers, MS ought to be able to hire the same kind of techs to do those services. Could be some decent revenue in it too, charging you extra to clean your machine of the viruses and other malware Windows let take up residence.

Sort of like charging you extra for MS AV/Firewall software that it shouldn't need in the first place...

Re:And what exactly will they be selling? (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824437)

This was my thinking. Apple stores were opened to solve specific problems. There was almost no retail space dedicated to Apple products. Apple had no face to face support for their products,and no easy way to fix products. Apple had no way to show how products were integrated or train the SOHO user or consumer. The apple store solved these problems.

What problem is MS trying to solve? The lack of coolness. As the old IBM showed so well, there is no profit to being cool on the back end. Just efficient. Unlike Apple, any MS store will compete with the other retail outlets. The best thing to have such stores will be xBox items and the like, which will compete with other stores. Perhaps they will have computers there as well, but how to choose the makes and models. Seems like if they have Compaq and HP, then everyone else will file a suite.

Honestly, it seems like it wold be better to offer any retailer the ability to build a MS support center in existing retail space. Like the current I'm a PC commercials, the entire venture seems to be desperate money spent for no apparent reason. Make the OS work. Lower prices. Get out the next xBox. This is what the people wnat.

Re:And what exactly will they be selling? (1)

kullnd (760403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824439)

Well, the X-BOX is kind of cool...

those renderings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824251)

...look like someone puked up a meal of sketchup and illustrator.

That store is ahttp://slashdot.org/story/09/07/25/1927226/Celebrate-Your-Next-Birthday-At-the-Microsoft-Store?art_pos=1# design suckfest.

Ah ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28824283)

But can I watch HD-content projected onto a hookers ass?

Just like Windows (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824323)

...drink too much, get bloated, turn blue, and crash.

This has to be a joke (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824335)

Microsoft is not stupid. They have absolutely no reason to make "stores". You can find Microsoft stuff at every single computer store in the world. Apple had to make stores to compete. Microsoft is PAID to get their produce put into those stores, they have no overhead or staff salarlies to expense.

Also if it does not sell computers then it hardly is competing with an Apple store. And if it does, some OEM's are going to be REALLY mad if they are not included. Though they could maybe have EVERY SINGLE OEM BRAND represented. Yea, that will make the store work real good.

Seriously this has got to be a joke. It makes absolutely zero sense. Microsoft is running ads already that show that you buy there stuff in the same store that might have an Apple display where you can compare prices, not at a "Microsoft store".

If this is not a joke, I think maybe some Microsoft shareholders should sue.

BSOD on wall screens... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824341)

I have to wonder how many of the wall screens will be displaying BSOD or some other fatal error at any one time. You see it often at airports. Even our NOC center master display is showing a "fatal error" box three or four times a week.

On the other hand, people may be so used to it, they may not even notice.

Re:BSOD on wall screens... (1)

kullnd (760403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824491)

And what the hell are you running that you get a "fatal error" three or four times a week? I keep my machine up without reboot for a couple weeks at times without reboot --- Seems like that is probably a fault with the software you are using more than the operating system under it.

Mid-Life Crisis? (2, Insightful)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824347)

Not long ago a story ran describing a long term debt offering by MS. The story was noteworthy because it stated MS had never offered long term debt instruments. Old school investment theory, as I remember it, would characterize an MS offering of long term debt instruments as one sign of a mature company. It may be the MS brain trust sees it's revenue flattening out and wants to lock in some long term money. Moving into bricks and mortar is another story, although if they see their revenue base flattening or receding like a middle aged hair line then maybe their looking to generate new revenue from a new venue. The question arises as to the likelihood of their offering their own boxes. I'm pretty sure the margin on PC stuff is as thin as it gets but they must have a strategy in hand. Some time ago Bill Gates rather infamously prophesied that, about now, PC hardware would be free with the OS and software being the only costs. Whatever the present state of information suggests I'd expect some good old extend, embrace and extinguish action.

I remember Gateway stores... (1, Funny)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 5 years ago | (#28824415)

Didn't they go bankrupt very soon, within just a few years of opening all those stores?

Rofl. MS is on the way out, eh?

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