By Chris Scott Barr
It looks like Microsoft is really gearing to shake things up in the retail world. Apparently they have decided that the world is finally ready for dedicated brick-and-mortar Microsoft stores. This week the company announced that they will be opening the first of their stores this Fall, with more coming next year. Fall seems like a good time for them to be opening a store, what with Windows 7 coming out in October, but the real question is what they’re going to be selling.
Apple stores do well because they sell hardware. You can walk in and find just about any Apple computer you want, not to mention iPods and other accessories. Is Microsoft going to sell computers from other manufacturers? If so, which OEMs will get a spot in the store? If they don’t, then will you simply see shelves lined with copies of Windows, Office and a spattering of Microsoft peripherals? That doesn’t seem like it would really draw in a lot of people. I suppose they’ll have Zune’s too, but who really buys a Zune anyway?
Then there is the prospect of selling the 360. I suppose it would be silly to open a Microsoft store without including their game console, but if you sell consoles, you have to sell games. If they only keep a select few games on-hand, people aren’t going to be stopping in to find the latest titles. Honestly, at the end of the day, I can’t see them selling anything that you couldn’t find at any other retail store. So that leaves one really big question. Why would anyone want to go to a Microsoft store?
VIA [ CNET ]