I don’t get the logic of Microsoft stores, either standalone or inside BestBuy locations:
Microsoft today announced a strategic partnership with Best Buy and Future Shop. The company plans to build Windows Stores in 500 Best Buy locations across the US and more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop locations in Canada, launching from late June through September.
This seems more like a case of “Look how successful Apple is. We should do that too.” than a well thought out strategy.
Apple sells a variety of consumer driven products in their stores, and in other retail stores like BestBuy. Someone who purchases an iPod is also a likely purchaser of iPod accessories, an iPhone, iPad, or even a MacBook. The audience is generally the same for all of their products. This similar audience has drive huge follow on sales.
That isn’t true of Microsoft though. You can already buy WIndows PCs, which are not made by Microsoft, as well as Microsoft software, in stores already. But Microsoft wants to lump products like the Surface tablets and the XBox together.
I’d argue that the audiences for these two products alone are very different. And XBox purchaser already has no problem purchasing XBox pretty much anywhere, even someplace like WalMart. But they are not likely the target audience for the Surface tablet. And Microsoft has not phone or music player solution of their own.
So I just don’t see the point of spending money on creating stores where customers can see things they likely wouldn’t ever buy lumped together with things they can already find everywhere else. Does Microsoft really believe that this will help to generate a retail bonanza?
If it were my choice, I would suggest that they create commercials that actually show people working and playing with the Surface tablets, and not just dancing around on tables with them.