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Google Opens First Retail Outlet In London

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-it's-still-in-beta dept.

Google 172

theodp writes "Google is following in the footsteps of Apple and Microsoft. The London Evening Standard reports that the world's first 'Google Store' has opened in a PC World on London's gadget street, Tottenham Court Road. Officially known as 'the Chromezone,' the 285sq. ft. pop-up 'shop within a shop,' which only sells Google's Chromebook laptop and a few accessories such as headphones, will run for three months up to Christmas. But if the low-key experiment is successful, Google could follow Apple in opening permanent stores around the world. 'It is our first foray into physical retail,' said Google's Arvind Desikan. 'This is a new channel for us and it's still very, very early days. It's something Google is going to play with and see where it leads.'"

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172 comments

First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582338)

Waiting in line to trade in my iphone for an android based phone YEAH!

Re:First post (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582340)

Microsoft thanks you for contribution.

Unless it's a Motorola phone. :) (1)

earls (1367951) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583206)

I don't believing they're paying up yet.

What are they going to sell? (1, Insightful)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582350)

Just wondering what physical item google has for sale? RFID kits so you can outfit every item in your home and search it's location in your home via google search?

where are my keys?

I'm feeling lucky

Re:What are they going to sell? (5, Interesting)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582356)

If you had RTFA, you would see that they are going to sell Chromebooks and things to go with them like headphones. Yeah, it would have been a great idea to put it in the summary, too bad they didn't... No, wait, there it is. In the summary:

sells Google's Chromebook laptop and a few accessories such as headphones,

What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

Re:What are they going to sell? (4, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582474)

What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

For £349, you could very decent laptop... This being Slashdot, I kinda skimmed TFA rather than actually reading it, but are they seriously selling the Chromebook for that much money? That's ridiculous. I was able to buy a 3lb 13" ultraportable for about £250 ($400 CAD), and if I'd had another $150 in the budget for it, I could have upgraded it quite nicely. And that's not even considering other form factors that are a lot cheaper, like a 14" or a 15" laptop where you're not as concerned about weight.

Re:What are they going to sell? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582706)

Did said ultraportable come with a mobile radio built in?

Sadly those radios have nasty premium nailed too them, dropping them from something can reduce the cost by $100.

Re:What are they going to sell? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582742)

It has wifi, just like the £349 version... it does not have 3G like the £399 version, but it was available as an upgrade option at configuration time (it's a Dell), and with 3G built-in, it would still have cost less than £399.

Aside from the fact that 3G data is way too expensive in this country (Canada), the main reason I didn't go with built-in 3G data is that it would have required that I buy Windows with the laptop. For some reason known only to Dell, the Linux versions of their laptops aren't very customizable. That said, the built-in 3G that Dell sells with some of their systems would have limited my choice in carriers, as not all carriers in this country use the same frequencies for data. I prefer not to get locked in to specific vendors, nor to sign any long-term contracts with cellular providers.

Re:What are they going to sell? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582828)

Well color me surprised, i could have sworn the mobile radio was not optional. That puts things in a whole new light.

Re:What are they going to sell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583182)

Some PCIe wifi adapters contain integrated WiMAX support. Example: Intel 6250 [intel.com] .

Re:What are they going to sell? (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582910)

In a world where a locked down underpowered touchscreen that you can't upgrade but have to buy a complete new one is the future, the chromebook will probably do really well.

Re:What are they going to sell? (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582486)

What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

Most things on the first few pages here [ebuyer.com] , if you want a reasonable idea of UK pricing. As far as I'm concerned, considering its specs (and the clearly problematic requirement of an entirely constant internet connection, making use on the move somewhere between uncertain and impossible) it costs at least twice what it would need to in order to be competitive.

That said, Google's product development seems to be pretty good; I know I made a good few complaints about Android when I first saw a G1, but a few years down the line I'm happily using a relatively cheap and capable HTC handset, so maybe the Chromebook Mk. 3 will manage to impress me.

Re:What are they going to sell? (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582720)

No such requirement. The Chromebooks are built to leverage the HTML5 web storage API so that say something like Gmail or Google Docs is usable offline (tho for the latter that support is so far read only, likely because of issues with tracking concurrent edits and such).

Re:What are they going to sell? (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582884)

So they're brave enough to ship it when you can't write a document while offline. Wow. If they're taking a leaf from Apple's book in opening stores they should take another leaf from Apple's book and not ship products until they have something worth shipping.

Re:What are they going to sell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582938)

Seriously? The first iteration of the iPhone was missing many of the basic tools that the later versions incorporated - cut and paste being the most basic. Most would describe that as an unfinished product as well - yet Apple felt no pain from that move.

All Google needs to do is set-up their own reality-distortion field and start calling these problems 'features' and they'll be right on track :)

Re:What are they going to sell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583478)

If they were going to do that, big red would have released a phone this year, not 4-5 years ago.

I mean, there's no support for (4 years) multitasking, a high res screen, fully working A2DP / AVRCP controls, video editing, (3 years) voice dialing, (2 years) cut and paste, and the lack of full Bluetooth data transfer profiles... I wouldn't have even considered buying any of their phones since it wasn't worth shipping.

Asides from cut and paste and multitasking (it did have the ability to switch between built in tasks and one application), my ~5 year old Sony Ericsson Z710a had all those features for $50 on a 2 year contract... and the only reason that the phone didn't support multitasking was the prohibitive cost to CPU and RAM back then. Oh, and it has expandable memory and a swappable battery. I mean, what idiot would buy a device that can be discharged really quickly and most consider insanely important ... without the ability to be back up and running in seconds?

Re:What are they going to sell? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582492)

"What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds."

That's about US$545, which will get you all kinds of things. My netbook was $275, and my mid range desktop (6 GB, 1 TB, quad core CPU) was about $550, and is a fine gaming rig. A decent laptop can be had for $350-400.

So for 349 pounds, you have a very large range of choices that are real computers. No need to put up with "web apps".

Re:What are they going to sell? (4, Informative)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582886)

The tech exchange rate is more like £1 to $1.

Re:What are they going to sell? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582524)

What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

For that you can build a dual- or triple- core machine with a DVD burner and a decent GPU. Well, if you spend the money in the USA, in dollars :) Or buy an Asus Transporter with the keyboard/battery dock. Or buy pretty much any other netbook.

Re:What are they going to sell? (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582622)

What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

I honestly can't believe they're selling a Samsung "chromebook" for £350. I literally read TFA just to check you hadn't got that wrong. I'm completely flabbergasted that they would be selling what is basically a "thin client" Atom laptop with a 12" screen for that. I mean, you can get a real Samsung-brand laptop for less than that.

I MIGHT have been interested in Chromebooks if they had massively undercut conventional netbooks, or had fantastic new hardware features (epic battery life, for example). But for just a crippled version of a perfectly ordinary netbook, that's an absurd price.

Re:What are they going to sell? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582658)

I think they're trying to go for the less-is-more branding (think about it - for the longest time the typical iPod did less than most competing mp3 players and yet commanded a hefty premium).

For small businesses/etc the fact that it has almost zero overhead to support long-term would also be a plus that would add value.

But, yes, I scratch my head over the decision to price these ABOVE comparable systems that run general-purpose OSes (windows tax and all). If they cost $150 US or something like that they'd probably have taken off, and THEN you can think about raising prices.

I still love my CR-48, but I can't say I'd pay $500 US for something like that.

Re:What are they going to sell? (3, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582818)

There's no such thing as "less-is-more branding". Less is more is an attribute of good design. Brand is an assurance of quality.

Actually the iPod did far more. It had an ecosystem that included software on the PC to manage and sync music files, and soon after to purchase, download and sync to the MP3 player with minimal user intervention. That's all far more than simply mounting the MP3 player as a drive, and leaving the file management as a task for the user to do.

The "less" involved was less for the user to have to do. Less for the user to worry about. That, together with the attractive industrial design were reasons for the iPod to take off. People bought it despite it's higher cost because it was a better value proposition.

Now of course Apple has a brand that assures people of a high quality product. But that brand was (re)made largely by the iPod (after the nadir of the brand in the 1990s.)

As to Google, they have a quality brand in search, for largely the same reasons - they do a lot of quality engineering behind the scenes, but put it behind a simple to use but quality user interface.

But their brand doesn't transfer too well to most other things they do. Except perhaps email. Certainly not to hardware. They'd have to extend the brand into that market. It's not impossible, but the odds are against them.

Re:What are they going to sell? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582726)

There is a mobile radio in there.

Re:What are they going to sell? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582446)

I was hoping for Android Market gift cards like those Apple is selling in every store ever. Limiting the service to those who have credit cards was a terrible idea.

Sell me right to delete my shemale porn history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582470)

Man o man, that's really gotten me into trouble.

If I can buy from Google the right to delete all my searches, and I mean really delete them this time, from Google's servers....

Re:What are they going to sell? (2)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582616)

wondering what physical item google has for sale

Privacy invasion devices disguised as limited functionality internet access device AKA a netbook.

Re:What are they going to sell? (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582708)

They are selling you.

Re:What are they going to sell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582746)

What are they going to sell?
Their main product of course!
YOU! ;)

Let's get physical. (2)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582352)

But if the low-key experiment is successful, Google could follow Apple in becoming evil. 'It is our first foray into evil,' said Google's Asmodeus Dessicant. 'This is a new channel for us and it's still very, very early days. It's something Google is going to play with and see where it leads.'"

Re:Let's get physical. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582362)

Right, because Google is a totally, 100% un-evil advertising firm.

Re:Let's get physical. (0)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583318)

But if the low-key experiment is successful, Google could follow Apple in becoming evil. 'It is our first foray into evil,' said Google's Asmodeus Dessicant.

Best not touch [youtube.com] anything in their store.

It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582358)

People interested in checking it out should use the Warren st. tube station rather than TCR.

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582538)

Otherwise you'll have to walk past the Scientology building.

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (2)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582752)

Walk up the right hand side of the road and you will avoid it.

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582548)

Change at TCR if you're heading into town on the Central line.

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582580)

I really do wonder at how lazy some people are. If you're at TCR underground anyway, just walk up the road. You'll get to window shop for more 400% markup electronic crap and futons that you could possibly imagine

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582612)

Last I checked, the Northern line won't be stopping at TCR until the refurb is done, so that might be a little difficult...

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (3, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582766)

Mornington Crescent!

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (1)

Dupple (1016592) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582804)

Well done sir!

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582760)

But not until the Crossrail works there are finished. At the moment you need to change at Oxford Circus for the Victoria Line.

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (1)

Christian Smith (3497) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582814)

I thought TCR station was closed anyway?

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583056)

That would be a good reason not to use it.

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583236)

only for northern line, the central line is still (not) working as usual.

Re:It's at the north end of Tottenham Court Road (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583104)

Google will also be selling Noodles in this store. The Chrome netbooks are merely a sideline. Google Noodles are the NEXT BIG THING.

Would have been nice for Nexus One (5, Interesting)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582360)

I think the Nexus One would have been a lot more successful if they had physical stores... I mean I'm still using mine and love it (it's a device you can really get attached to, despite its flaws and that it's outdated) but I've only ever seen one other one in the wild (other than at Maker Faire SF, where dozens of Google employees were using them).

Also, it would have been nice to have someplace to check out and buy the accessories and so on, especially on short notice when necessary.

Despite the fact that you can do everything online these days, there truly is still a major role for retail to play. I would be reluctant to buy a new and unusual computer like the Chromebook without being able to try one myself (as I'm sure people are with Apple products if they haven't used them before), so this will probably be a good strategy for them.

Re:Would have been nice for Nexus One (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582392)

The HTC Desire was the Nexus One's half sibling - same basic design but modified Android and it sold extremely well. So I agree if Google had got its device into retail channels it could have sold extremely well.

Re:Would have been nice for Nexus One (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582566)

HTC Desire was the last Smartphone I know of that has *physical buttons*. Which is one thing making me hang on to it to the bitter end. (that and it's still a pretty good phone, after 18 months)

Re:Would have been nice for Nexus One (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582678)

HTC Desire was the last Smartphone I know of that has *physical buttons*. Which is one thing making me hang on to it to the bitter end. (that and it's still a pretty good phone, after 18 months)

My Desire Z has 40-ish physical buttons, including the Desire-ish small trackpad under the screen

Re:Would have been nice for Nexus One (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582774)

Yeah, but the front buttons are capacitative, so bring the same problems, ie poorer user feedback, variable pressure needed to activate them based on atmospheric conditions, inability to find them with your fingers ahead of pressing them since they have no physical shape and would be activated as soon as you touch, accidental activation.

Re:Would have been nice for Nexus One (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582894)

The HTC Chacha is a decent option if you ignore the bloody stupid name and the Facebook branding. The Samsung Galaxy M Pro B7800 also looks promising, if you're happy enough waiting a few months.

Re:Would have been nice for Nexus One (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583296)

Actually, all I want is physical buttons to cover Back, Menu & Home rather than capaitative buttons which seem to be ubiquitous. But thanks.

Re:Would have been nice for Nexus One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582438)

The Nexus One would have been a lot more successful if Google wanted it to be. I wanted to buy one but they wouldn't sell me one because I wasn't lucky enough to live in one of the 6 countries they sold it in. I was slightly confused since it was an unlocked unsubsidised phone sold over the internet. Seems like I should have been able to buy one.

Re:Would have been nice for Nexus One (1)

Phurge (1112105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582614)

Agree - if they had physical stores take up would have been a lot higher (also if they had provided a plan for it - Joe Sixpack is not used to paying $XXX upfront). The main reason for physical stores is that these days phones are quite a personal item. (does it fit in my pocket/hand/handbag/purse/?. Does it look "cool"). I think both factors combined meant that Nexus 1 was an underperformer, despite it being the leading phone of its time.

Really cool stuff (1)

ttong (2459466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582374)

But you can only get to pay with Google Checkout. Which sits right next to useless.

playground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582382)

This shop looks like a children's playground. Haven't they learned from the Fischer Price interface of windows XP? People want mature and sexy, and don't want to be treated like children.

Also, the rack in the background looks messy, and not well thought-through.

Re:playground (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582408)

I like how the big TV/Monitor in the background is colored white and looks a lot like an Apple monitor. Was it criminal negligence on the part of the store designer, or a deliberate ripoff to evoke a subconscious bait-and-switch for a population that places the most value on Apple gadgets?

And why England? Is it because the Brits are most accustomed to intrusive surveillance?

Re:playground (2)

RDW (41497) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582510)

Also, the rack in the background looks messy, and not well thought-through.

Even worse, there's an entire PC World shop in the background, with all the aesthetics you'd expect from a shed full of overpriced printer cartridges and copies of Norton Antivirus at the grimmer end of Tottenham Ct Rd - there's a reason why most fashion boutiques do not open 'pop-up shops' in branches of Lidl or Walmart:

http://www.talkandroid.com/48645-pc-world-will-have-the-samsung-galaxy-tab-10-1-starting-august-3/ [talkandroid.com]

http://www.t3.com/news/worlds-first-google-chrome-zone-opens-in-london [t3.com]

Presumably the main job of the Google employees will be desperately trying to steer the customers away from the cheaper fully-functional netbooks 50 feet away in the main shop.

Incidentally, this is not the first 'Chrome Zone':

http://www.virginamerica.com/vx/chromezone [virginamerica.com]

As it is inside PC World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582400)

The saledroids are oblidged to ask these questions

- Can I interest you in the Extended Warranty with that? Only 50% of the purchase price
- Of course you will need some Anti-Virus. We have an offer on this Norton 360. Works great with Windows 7.

The PC World shop where they are trialling this is in the wrong place. IT is at the 'ghost town' end of TCR. I should know, I work in Cleveland St.
It might be onyl one stop on the Victoria Line from Apple's flagship Regent St store but is it a different world. Very quiet.
My guess is that this will fail.
They should have put the store in one of the two Westfield shopping centres(Shephers Bush or Stratford, right by the 2012 Olyimpic Park)

Meh... (4, Interesting)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582404)

Why aren't such stores obsolete yet? This is an honest question. Especially for Google, that has online access to billions of customers worldwide, what would such a store offer? For Apple it worked because part of their marketing strategy is to dazzle you with fancy plastic. Is Google trying to do the same?

If there was a Google store in my neighborhood, I would probably drop by out of curiosity. However, whenever I go to an electronics retail store the salesperson ends up ordering the stuff I need anyway because they don't have what I want in stock (and, with my luck, even if they once did they would have probably run out). OK, if all you have to offer is 2-3 versions of the same hardware, your stock will always be up-to-date. However, I still don't see any good enough reason for embracing the costs and the trouble of physical retail sale.

Re:Meh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582442)

They're browsable. Looking at stuff online isn't the same as getting to interact with it in the real world.

Also, if anything should happen to the thing you buy, it can be nice with a physical place to go to get it repaired or replaced.

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582578)

It's London. It's a /boutique/ store -- it's for fashionable people who like to shop.

You won't get one in your neighborhood. Google doesn't need one in your neighborhood. They just need a handful of niche stores in cool places to equip the showy fashionable people to give their product a fashionable buzz. Then the rest will order it online or whatever. This is about product placement in the fashion theater. It's not what you were thinking at all.

Re:Meh... (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582916)

I can't imagine anything less "boutique" than a branch of PC World at the wrong end of Tottenham Court Road.

Re:Meh... (1)

Slashdot Assistant (2336034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583284)

PC World cannot be fashionable, seriously. It's like thinking that butter can be low in fat, or that serial rapists would be great chaperones at a high school prom.

If on the off-chance that hipsters come to see buying shit from uninformed grinning gimps in a warehouse setting, then yes, PC World could indeed become a fashionable place to shop. Google may just as well be sticking their store next to the mystery biscuits in the Catford Aldi.

Re:Meh... (1)

Phurge (1112105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582608)

Google agrees with you, though the millions of people who didn't buy the Nexus-1 (the leading phone of its time) would probably disagree.

Re:Meh... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582688)

Well, they sort of make more sense for a lot of countries outside the US vs. the US because those countries have national sales taxes, meaning the price differentials between online and offline are significantly less than they are in the US.

Re:Meh... (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582860)

As the other reply indicated, Google, a company staffed by nerds like you, thought the same thing with the Nexus One. Though it was the best phone of its time, it failed as a business miserably. Because the vast majority of people out there don't shop the way you and I and the people who work at Google do. Because they aren't nerds like us.

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583042)

Because there are times when you want to go in the store and actually *touch* the thing. Example: Nexus One

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583070)

Why aren't such stores obsolete yet?

Because the Internet hasn't developed to the point of tactile interfaces yet? Some of us prefer to see the products in the light of day, not glammed up photos.

I would much rather take the time to go to a store and experience the product, even in that limited environment, than take the time to return it if and when I find out it's not what I expected - and apparently I'm not alone - as the Nexus sales record shows.

Apple stores take it too far - the 'whole experience' idea actually puts me off because it reeks of retail-brainwashing. But there is a middle-ground and hopefully Google can find it. It's just a shame they decided to start in PC World which is already renowned as the store for idiots who buy stupidly marked-up crap.

fancy plastic? (1)

Brannon (221550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583450)

Have you ever seen an Apple product? it's all unibody brushed aluminum now. PCs are, for the most part, rickety flexing plastic.

Retail for computers is back for a simple reason--how computers look and feel is more important now than it has ever been as computers have become increasingly portable and consumerized. People want to hold and feel it before buying.

Re:Meh... (2)

BZ (40346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583476)

Because a lot of people want to actually _try_ a device before buying it. Little things like how the keyboard feels, how the screen looks, that sort of thing.

I dearly wish I could just go to a physical store and try a bunch of different e-readers instead of spending tens of hours poring over online reviews trying to tease the bits of information I care about out of them.

Sell Google Services, as well . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582418)

Physical, Schmizical. IT Services is where the money is to be made! Like with IBM, or maybe the new HP. Google could offer paid assistance in their shops for folks who are having problems with Google products. And judging by how often I read here on Slashdot, "Oh, google it yourself!", apparently a lot of folks have problems googling themselves. Let alone other Google products.

Think of a Google Shop as a computer fitness service center . . . with your own Personal Google Cloud Trainer!

Re:Sell Google Services, as well . . . (1)

kqc7011 (525426) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582610)

If this was something like a Genius Bar and had the Workshops. Or just the ability to go to a Goggle employee and have the ability to ask a question in person. Now that would be something that I might even pay for.

Me too! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582434)

Ah, it's the me-too company again.

AltaVista: we do search!
Google: me too!

Hotmail: we do online mail
Google: me too!

Nokia: We do smartphones
Apple: we do too, and added touch and apps
Google: me too! and we added nothing.

Sun: We do Java
Google: Me too! Allegedly.

Everyone: We do instant messaging
Google: Me too!

Facebook: We do social
Google: Me too!

Sony/Apple: We do brand-specific shops
MS & now Google: me too!

Bah. I will never understand the love geeks give to this copycat advertising company.

Re:Me too! (1, Insightful)

jkcity (577735) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582462)

hmmm iphone was not the first touch screen phone you can get and they never invented apps there was apps tores onother phones before it they just tended to be expensive and not have alot on them.

Re:Me too! (2)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582494)

It's not what Google does, but how. Google has the ability to realise when something sucks or is broken, and they re-invent it into something that works again. They've done it by enhancing search, simplifying mail, opening up phones, opening up Java, integrating IM and are now hoping to do it with social media and physical retailing. Notice how AltaVista, Hotmail, Nokia and Sun have shrunken back into the shadow of their former glory, yet Google keeps powering along? That's the difference between Google and the multitude of other consumer tech brands and companies out there.

Re:Me too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582496)

What companies would this NOT apply to? I mean, I guess that there must have been a first business that you could say made operating systems or spreadsheets or phones or sold books or transported goods or whatever but pretty much everyone is "me too". Certainly Microsoft and Apple fall into the "me too" camp on everything I can think of. They made improvements in some cases but that goes for Google too (hey, me too! maybe you have a point).

Re:Me too! (4, Insightful)

Phurge (1112105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582600)

google: "me too - except we do it BETTER"

Re:Me too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582620)

Nokia: We do smartphones
Apple: we do too, and added touch and apps
Google: me too! and we added nothing.

Will you iFans STFU with your asspiratery already? Nokia 7710 was sporting a full-color touchscreen with more pixels than the iPhone (and 3rd-party apps) 2.5 years earlier, and Symbian phones running S60 have had 3rd party apps since at least 2003, probably earlier.

(If we really wanna go back, IBM had a monochrome touchscreen on the Simon in 1992, but you specifically point to Apple as adding stuff wrt Nokia.)

Re:Me too! (2)

thetartanavenger (1052920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582960)

AltaVista: we do search!

Google: We do search that gives better results based on what the person actually wants. It includes a calculator, knowledge engine, currency converter and many more little features you'll take for granted all in one.

Hotmail: we do online mail

Google: We do online mail with quite a nice interface that includes chat features integrated into it, along with a labs section to fiddle with stuff. We give a lot more space for free. We are even trying to innovate with the use of priority inbox's and other features that didn't exist before. You don't have to use them if you don't want to though.

Nokia: We do smartphones
Apple: we do too, and added touch and apps

Google: We do smartphones that are open and customisable. You have a variety of hardware to choose from that suits you, and pretty safe ecosystem if you want that and a way to install other stuff too. We introduced desktop widgets and a few other useful features, although we probably weren't the ones to do them first, people seem to like them none the less. All this and funky integration with our other services.

Sun: We do Java

Microsoft: We do Java too!!
Court + Sun: No you don't you do something different
Google: We do Android SDK that runs in a virtual machine using Dalvik bytecode. Oracle claims we violate their patents, which remains to be seen.

Everyone: We do instant messaging

Google: Me too! See email. Our chat happily and easily runs in browser and using a variety of clients, includes video and voice chat and phonecalls. Yeah others do it too, but are they as convenient if you're already using gmail?

Facebook: We do social

Google: We do social too. We've tried it before and fucked it up. That taught us to give people what they want instead, and make it easy for people to lock down their profile, send messages to only those they want and generally try to respect their privacy (from an outside perspective. We do use your data, but it's free and we're an advertising company so what do you expect? Do you think facebook doesn't?)

Sony/Apple: We do brand-specific shops
MS & now Google: me too!

You've got me on this one...

Wow this really makes me sound like a google lover, heck maybe I am. But don't criticise them for making services that in many ways appear to be better than the alternatives in some but not all ways. Remember, you don't have to use them..

Re:Me too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583290)

O.- Almost every product is a "me too!" product going by your metric. Unless you started a new market, you will always be following the leader (barring major changes or improvements beyond the scope of the original).

Apple is also a "Me too!" company since everything they created was already invented before (even the OS to a degree).
MS is another.
Etc.

We as consumers DON"T care. We only care who has the better and more polished product. If somebody new comes along and can do it better, all the better as it drives competition within the market. And competition is very good in a capitalistic market where profit tends to be maximized over innovation.

PC World? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582450)

PC World is where you go to pick up a hdd at 6PM when you need it in a hurry. Most stores have a tiny selection of overpriced components, anything else you can have next day from an online retailer for a fraction of the price.

Add to that the clueless staff and the awful, soulless music they insist on playing... Apple stores, although I'm not too fond of these, are a veritable paradise by comparison with PC world.

Re:PC World? (1)

Slashdot Assistant (2336034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583390)

Have they improved at all in the last 10 years? Last serious interaction I had was in trying to explain to their staff how their own extended support products work. A series of questions helped.
1) Who sold this?
2) Which company's name is on the paperwork?
3) If PC World sold this support contract, and the paperwork says that PC World are providing the support, does it make sense to tell a customer to contact the manufacturer in the expectation that they should honor the promises made by PC World?

It's very rewarding to see a brief glimmer of understand in their eyes. They'll hopefully apply their new-found curiosity for knowledge when they get sent on training - "Enterprise Masterclass: Using caps lock to make things all big"

It is not a store. We are not Google's customers. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582454)

It is funny to have a store for the people that are not the customers. We are google's product, the advertisers and the carriers are the customers.

--ditkin

Re:It is not a store. We are not Google's customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582560)

yeah, if I go in the store, I'll be certain to check my back for GPS trackers and the like.

Re:It is not a store. We are not Google's customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582668)

We are google's product

Seriously, can we start brutally murdering people who trot out this tired, unoriginal drivel?

Re:It is not a store. We are not Google's customer (1)

moozey (2437812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582792)

Yes.

Re:It is not a store. We are not Google's customer (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582944)

Sure, except for the part where it's true. Hell, it's even in their 10-K filing. Go ahead, read it. You can find it online.

The problem with Google opening retail stores is that Google is trying to drastically change their business model from one where advertisers are their customers to one where the dude walking down the street is the customer. Right now the dude walking down the street is a *user* - he recognizes the Google brand name because he uses it, but he's never drooled at the mouth over a Google product. He's drooled at the mouth over Apple's Macbooks and iPads, he's drooled at the mouth over Coach leather wallets, or Sony's Grand Wega TVs, his wife drools over Prada and Chanel bags, these are products they aspire to own, brands they want to show off to their friends and to other people walking down the street. Aspirational brands.

Google was only aspirational in the early years when only the cool, in-the-know people used Google and the riff-raff used Altavista or Yahoo. Google is now just a utility that everybody uses. Everyone knows the name, like Microsoft, but nobody wants to pay for the privilege of getting more use of a utility. Especially one that makes their bucks out of shoving advertising down your throat.

Google's mistake is that they need to be following a multi-brand strategy. Google is the search engine/utility brand. They should acquire a nice aspirational technology brand that they can use to market consumer products. Far smaller companies in other market segments follow this strategy with much success when there is an inherent incompatibility between their primary's brand's meaning and identity and their objectives with part of their business.

A company like Roku that offered a somewhat sexy, consumer electronics brand would have been a good acquisition target for Google, for example, rather than their miserably failed Google TV strategy. Roku would have to have been even more sexied-up to work out properly though. Maybe even better - a perpendicular brand like Lamborghini from the automobile space that already licenses well in non-automotive products and could be extended into a full-fledged, full-line consumer electronics brand of aspirational products.

If you want to play in a space, you got to do it right. There's no excuse for dicking around when you have the kind of resources Google has.

Google opens retail store (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582476)

COURT ROAD, Tottenham, Friday (NTN) — Internet advertising agency Google is opening its first retail store, [newstechnica.com] selling the Internet-only Chromebook.

"We've put a lot of effort into making it feel welcoming, homely and, dare I say it, 'Googley'," said Arvind Desikan, head of consumer marketing. The revolutionary shopping experience leverages Google's famous abilities in customer service, having no staff. Customers seeking advice on a product can simply log in with their Google account to the in-store forum, where they and other customers can assist each other.

"People will be able to go in and have a play with the devices, so they can get a feel for what it's about and we can monitor their reaction." Persons seeking entry to the store must give their bank account name and glue an RFID tag to their forehead, so as to create a suitably decorous shopping environment, "just like in real life." Should they be discovered to be using a name the Google Identity algorithm considers unlikely, they will be ejected mid-purchase and their GMail and Android phone disabled, for their comfort and convenience.

The store is in Tottenham Court Road, so as to select for the valuable demographic of people who want shiny things and are willing to pay a hundred quid more than they would for an ordinary netbook that does more. A second store will be opened in Lakeside for customers of similar discernment.

The Google store still anticipates more customers than the Microsoft stores. Rumours of the purchase of a Windows 7 phone somewhere in Britain are as yet unconfirmed, despite investigations by sceptics' organisations.

Re:Google opens retail store (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582484)

Not bad. Comes across as better than some of The Onion's stuff. Funnier too...

Apple had to open their own stores. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582478)

When Apple decided to build their own retail operation, they had a problem to solve. Existing retailers were doing a very poor job of presenting their products. I remember a time where if you saw a Mac at all at a store that sold PCs, it was usually missing a few keys from the keyboard, and if it was powered up, it was flashing the "sad mac" icon. There were a handful of Mac-only resellers who did a better job of it, but there certainly weren't enough of them. Retail was crucial to Apple's survival.

For an outfit like Google or Microsoft, retail is just something they think they should do because Apple did it.

-jcr

Re:Apple had to open their own stores. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582602)

You're signing a post, under a fake name, that's like double stupid.

Re:Apple had to open their own stores. (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583076)

Ha, I remember people used to take jabs at this guy on Digg for signing his posts. That's probably why he does it. The great JCR will go down in internet message board history as the guy who didn't realize his posts were auto-signed if he was logged in.

Re:Apple had to open their own stores. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582700)

Err, HP seemed the have the same issue as Apple regarding getting a proper presentation of their Touchpad. And i suspect Google may have the same problems getting Chromebooks properly demoed. And i think a whole lot of "older" customers store shop more then web shop, especially if the price tag is more then a couple of dollars/pounds/whatever.

Re:Apple had to open their own stores. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582772)

For an outfit like Google or Microsoft, retail is just something they think they should do because Apple did it.

While it's cute that you're trying to make some sort of joke/point of conflating Google & MS as Apple-competitors, this statement is totally wrong for Google.

Google had a real problem trying to get people to look at the Nexus One, I suspect they're having the same problem with early chromebooks. This problem is not quite as dire for Google as it was for Apple (as selling retail product is not central to Google's business model), but there's little doubt they'd shift more product in dedicated stores.

They don't have the same sort of margins as Apple however, so it may not be profitable enough to be worthwhile. Hard to say without looking at the numbers.

Re:Apple had to open their own stores. (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582826)

Well.... Considering that Chromebooks are nowhere to be seen in the stores, Google is solving the same problem that Apple had to. It's just that they are doing it in the newer Apple fashion - Chromezone is like Apple stand in those stores.

Re:Apple had to open their own stores. (1)

ninjacheeseburger (1330559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583216)

I believe Google are doing to make sure that the customer knows exactly what makes a chromebook different from a standard laptop.
Would you rely on a computer store to with a completely new type of device?

Also the retailer can't sell additional services, no MS Office, no anti-virus etc so they would probably try and steer the consumer into buying a standard laptop.

Why not somewhere more exciting? PC World??!? (1)

tucolino (654142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582632)

Want to generate buzz? Give the space to starving artists (errmmm hipsters) in east London and get them to do the pop up shop for you. Get them to showcase their art too using the chromebooks. Isn't Google's brand usually perceived as way cooler than PC Word!?!? I would have thought so...

its amz..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582870)

thanks to google for advanced techonology & all the best fr u r retail outlets

not the first (1)

GregNorc (801858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583092)

There's Google store in Mountain View, at the 'plex. They sell the same products as their online store [googlestore.com] .

Tell Eric Schmidt to buy a Chromebook first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583398)

Recently, Eric Schmidt appeared before Congress, using not a Chromebook, but... a Macbook Air [cnet.com] .

Why should I buy a Chromebook if Google's own excecutives won't use one?

(Aside: Will these stores just turn into Motorola stores at some point?)

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