If you haven’t already heard, Microsoft has come up with another idea almost entirely stolen from Apple: retail stores. Now, we’re not talking the BestBuys and Targets and MicroCenters that already sell Microsoft products, but actual brick-and-mortar stores where one would be able to purchase Microsoft products.
What a brilliant idea! Now people won’t have to hunt all over the Internet and their local suburban wasteland to find that elusive Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000 or XBOX that no one else carries. As if this isn’t ridiculous enough, as Bryan Chaffin’s article on MacObserver points out, Microsoft’s next “brilliant” idea is to locate at least some of their stores right next to, or in close proximity to, existing Apple Stores.
I’ll give you a few minutes to get up off the floor, wipe the tears from laughing, and catch your breath.
Better now? Good. Yes, Mathilde, Microsoft not only wants to set up stores to sell XBOX and keyboards and mice and Windows, but wants to do it all right next door to Apple. Actually, this could have a positive effect for consumers: right after you buy your next iMac and want a keyboard better than that crappy aluminium slab that comes with it, you can saunter next door to the Microsoft store and pick up a cheap wireless ergonomic keyboard and mouse—the only things Microsoft makes better than Apple does, at least in my opinion.
It’ll be interesting to see both how much money Ballmer and company are willing to throw away on this concept, and whether it’ll have any effect at all. I wonder if Microsoft will set up PCs to demo Windows on (presumably strongly-restricted PCs with no Internet access and virtually no third-party software); and if so, who will they choose? Dell? HP? Lenovo? Or maybe they’ll piss all the PC makers off and build a Microsoft-branded PC? That’d be an interesting approach, for sure.
Yes, very interesting indeed.