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The Microsoft Store

January 14th, 2009

What did you expect?


Yes, because we all enjoy the experience of pushing a giant plastic shopping cart around, looking at little else except for rows of shelved merchandise! One thing they seem to have anticipated: no crowds. Have you ever been to an Apple Store? Imagine that store with everyone pushing around giant shopping carts. Isn’t that a nice image? You need lots of empty space to be able to push around those carts, space not filled with customers.

Even better yet, note how the Microsoft logo and Windows labels are applied profusely–they could not even resist making the cushioned seats into a Windows logo.



Now compare with an Apple Store:


Even with a lot of people, it works; lots of open space, sparse and simple designs, merchandise racks mostly relegated to the walls–and most of the store is tables and tables full of demo products so you can get a hands-on experience. The poster space is mostly showing what the products do, as opposed to being filled with slogans, trademarks, and logos. A few Apple logos are prominently displayed at the entrance to the store, but everything else simple–no seats or tables shaped like Apple logos. It’s called “tasteful.”


Not to mention service people everywhere, so it’s not hard at all to find someone to help you even in a crowded store. And, of course, the Genius Bar, always tastefully laid out and organized.


In short, Microsoft did what they always do: took an idea from Apple and executed it poorly, without class or imagination. To give you another example, I leave you with a humorous take-off on how Microsoft would have designed the packaging for the iPod:

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  1. January 17th, 2009 at 12:05 | #1

    Did you ever visit the Microsoft Store at the SF Metreon. It was also a disaster. That was almost 10 years ago already (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/1999/jun99/microsoftsfpr.mspx)

    They kept it open as a flagship store for a few years and it was a good place to stop in and check email from time to time as it was usually empty. It shut down, not that anyone seemed to notice.

    Maybe by copying the Apple Store design they hope they can trick a few people into coming in. But the genius bar might be a big attraction, PC users need a lot more help than Mac users ever have.

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