Topic: Microsoft to Open Stores  (Read 2717 times)

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Microsoft to Open Stores
« on: February 13, 2009, 10:39:08 am »
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Microsoft Corp. said it hired a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive to help the company open its own retail stores, a strategy shift that borrows from the playbook of rival Apple Inc.


Quote
"The purpose of opening these stores is to create deeper engagement with consumers and continue to learn firsthand about what they want and how they buy," Microsoft said in a statement.

The move is a sign of the deeper role consumer-technology companies are playing in the retail business, despite the many risks of straying from their traditional businesses of making hardware and software. Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., encountered widespread skepticism when it first began opening its own retail stores in 2001.


Does this mean that there will be Microsoft branded PCs?  It could cause them trouble (and anti trust complaints) from current PC makers.
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Offline knightstorm

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 10:43:33 am »
probably zune and x-box.

Offline Centurus

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 12:56:40 pm »
They're desperate.
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Offline toasty0

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2009, 09:43:55 am »
Link to full article

Quote
Microsoft Corp. said it hired a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive to help the company open its own retail stores, a strategy shift that borrows from the playbook of rival Apple Inc.


Quote
"The purpose of opening these stores is to create deeper engagement with consumers and continue to learn firsthand about what they want and how they buy," Microsoft said in a statement.

The move is a sign of the deeper role consumer-technology companies are playing in the retail business, despite the many risks of straying from their traditional businesses of making hardware and software. Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., encountered widespread skepticism when it first began opening its own retail stores in 2001.


Does this mean that there will be Microsoft branded PCs?  It could cause them trouble (and anti trust complaints) from current PC makers.


I'm not sure.
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Offline toasty0

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2009, 09:52:59 am »
They're desperate.

Really? Is that the result of reading your tea leaves or do you have an inside scoop you'd like to share?

I see it as a move similar to Apple's desire to control how its product is presented. On some levels I think the move to boutique presentation and service and away from mass market, big box commodity marketing is long overdue. I just hope MS does not clone Apples annoyingly cult-ish approach.
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Offline Lepton

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2009, 10:51:36 am »
They're desperate.
I just hope MS does not clone Apples annoyingly cult-ish approach.

Yes, MS has enough cult members, you amongst their number.  No need to swell the number.


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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2009, 11:07:37 am »
They're desperate.
I just hope MS does not clone Apples annoyingly cult-ish approach.

Yes, MS has enough cult members, you amongst their number.  No need to swell the number.

:police: Puts on Moderator had :police:

Lepton knock it off.  If you have what you believe to be a valid disagreement with toasty then state how you think he is wrong.  Leave off the personal attacks.  Understood?

:police: Removes Moderator had :police:

I'm taking a wait and see view to how Microsoft does this.  There are good ways and bad ways.  Which way it will be has yet to be seen.
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Offline Tulwar

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2009, 11:09:01 am »
I'm sure MS is doing this because they are desperate.  They're borrowing the wrong ideas from Apple.  What they should do is improve their product!  I've had enough of MS.  This machine is deteriorating with every update.  I was hoping to keep it for at least another year.
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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2009, 11:48:59 am »
They're desperate.


Really? Is that the result of reading your tea leaves or do you have an inside scoop you'd like to share?


Desperate is exaggerated in my opinion but I do think that they have problems. 

I once came across an article that applies to companies like Microsoft.  The article put forward the idea that when a new market opens up new companies form (like Microsoft and the software market) and old companies take a beating.  The odd part of it is what happens as the new market ages.  The new companies mostly fail to mature and the old companies that were mature before the new market emerged take over the market.  Will Microsoft fail this way?  It is one of the few remaining "new" companies of the maturing software market after all.  Ashton Tate, Lotus, Visicalc and many others have fallen already will Microsoft be next or will they reach maturity?  Will IBM or HP one day pick up the corpse of Microsoft at bargain prices?  (Note I'm not saying it WILL happen, it does seem unlikely but it could).

Microsoft has based a lot of their financial actions on the idea that they are a premium stock yet how has their stock been doing recently?  It hasn't maintained its historic rise and stock splits.  It instead has had to deplete its stockpile of cash in paying dividends to keep its price up.  When they tried to buy Yahoo! they were proposing to borrow the money, a great change for this cash rich company.

The Western world is basically a saturated market for computers so it is now a replacement market with corresponding stagnation of corporate growth for Microsoft.  For further growth they must enter new markets, ideally early in the market.  The XBox is one such attempt but they entered late and have not managed to dominate it even with years of taking losses on the XBox.  Their big chance for market growth is in "emerging markets" which can't pay the prices that sustain the high profit margin that Microsoft historically has enjoyed.

They just laid off a large number of people (15,000?).  I haven't seen any statement of WHO was laid off but if it is developers then it is bad indeed.

They have great resistance to Vista, its market uptake has been sluggish compared to past MS Operating Systems releases.  This has caused them to use various ad campaigns and when they failed to cancel them.  It has also made them put a lot of effort into getting a successor to Vista out quickly and play the hype machine at full speed for it.  They need Windows 7 to be seen very positively by the public and CIOs of the world.  They also had a lot of resistance to their prior corporate licensing change which cost them revenue.

There are also challenges in the market place.  Netbooks came out with Linux and Microsoft has been forced to keep Windows XP alive to avoid ceding a surging new computer market to Linux which they have to fear would legitimize Linux with people who might never have tried it otherwise.  Apple is also surging upward.  Before that they repeatedly had to extend the support on Windows 98 past when they wanted to end it. 

OOXML made it (with LOTS of controversy) to an ISO standard, but NO ONE not even Microsoft itself is supporting it yet.  They need OOXML to hold off government and corporate adoption of ODF but without it having any products that are compliant it's a problem.

Then there are the lawsuits.  The Vista Ready/Capable class action suit is on going with possible billions in payouts.  There is now a stock holder lawsuit against the $8 Billion invested in research each year.  The various EU anti trust suits where the EU has actually penalized Microsoft in large fines and made them open things up to competition. 

There is also one that is more psychological than anything else, Bill Gates reducing his participation in running the company and handing more control over to Steve Ballmer.  Believe it or not a substantial number of people think that Ballmer is more responsible for the negative aspects of Microsoft than Gates. 

Finally there is the purely technological one.  Vista is derived from older Windows versions through multiple generations.  Generations in which marketing mandated integrating products into it for non technical terms.  The core is getting old and very complex, they NEED a rewrite (like Apple did) but haven't been able to force themselves to "bite the bullet" and make it.  That rewrite when it occurs will be an opening for competitors (as is the jump to 64bit) and the longer they delay it the more of an opening it will be, sort of a Catch 22.

So yes I do think that they have problems.  Mostly of their own making.  But I don't see them as desperate yet.  If they don't manage to handle them well then yes they may very well become desparate.
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Offline toasty0

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2009, 02:10:34 pm »
A couple of things. The announced layoff numbers, though as pleasing they are to the anti-MS crowd, constitutes a very small portion of the MS workforce (89k+ employees worldwide). I believe the term layoff may be a misnomer as it looks like what MS is doing is allowing attrition to eliminate old titles and work descriptions (my speculation and not based on any public statements by MS).

Currently, MS's ROI and TCO are very strong:




If this is desperate--as one poster called it--then I can't wait to see 'confident'.

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Offline toasty0

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2009, 02:15:45 pm »
They're desperate.
I just hope MS does not clone Apples annoyingly cult-ish approach.

Yes, MS has enough cult members, you amongst their number.  No need to swell the number.

I also control your vertical and your horizontal...
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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2009, 05:42:44 pm »
A couple of things. The announced layoff numbers, though as pleasing they are to the anti-MS crowd, constitutes a very small portion of the MS workforce (89k+ employees worldwide). I believe the term layoff may be a misnomer as it looks like what MS is doing is allowing attrition to eliminate old titles and work descriptions (my speculation and not based on any public statements by MS).

16%+ is a fairly high layoff.  The fact that they have to do it shows the change in the company.  Combine it with their cutting employee benefits and "perqs" a few years ago and it shows that Microsoft is getting past the point of growth into maturity.  The question is can they make the transition to adulthood through adolescence intact?

Can Microsoft handle being in a replacement market rather than one where you are getting new customers every day?  It requires a different style can they make that change?

Currently, MS's ROI and TCO are very strong:

If this is desperate--as one poster called it--then I can't wait to see 'confident'.

The story when it comes to their stock it is different though.  Up until the year 2000 people bought the stock KNOWING it would go up and up.  It split 8 times before then.  If you had bought 1000 shares of stock in Microsoft on day one by 2000 you would have had 96,000 shares.  If you did the same in 2000 you would have 2,000 shares now worth about 2/3 what you initially paid.  It is not the desirable stock it used to be.  Now people buy it for dividends (which decreases the Microsoft cash pile).  Now Microsoft has had to buy back stock in an effort to prop up the stock price (also decreasing the cash pile).  Stock options for employees are not nearly as attractive to those employees as it was in the 80s and 90s making it harder to hold those premium employees away from faster growing companies.

Microsoft used to be able to buy companies with stock at good prices, now they can't (consider the Yahoo! offer and the planned debt to buy it).  Now they have to use cash or stock deals at far less favourable terms, borrowing money becomes an issue.

The ROI is strong, but how does it compare to the past?  Even Microsoft has had to admit their profit margin is slipping.

So Microsoft may well be healthy and far from desperate but they aren't quite the fearsome force they once were.  Will they recover?  Will they fail?  Will they become just another company?  Time will tell.  I for one would hesitate to pick any one of those options.
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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2009, 05:44:02 pm »
I also control your vertical and your horizontal...

Microsoft DRM and EULA do in fact remind me of the Control Voice in the Outer Limits.
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Offline Sirgod

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2009, 06:37:09 pm »
That last bit just cracked me up. Horizontal and Vertical. :D :D :D

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2009, 09:36:43 am »
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Top 11 Things You Won't Find at the Microsoft Store

11.    DVDs of The Pirates of Silicon Valley and Antitrust
10.    A John Hodgman bobblehead
9.    Steve Ballmer action figure with Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Action Jump
8.    Windows ME commemorative plate
7.    "I found it on Google" T-shirts
6.    Bill Gates voodoo doll


And I sooo wanted a #6 ;)
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Offline toasty0

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2009, 08:51:11 am »
Update Information on Store:

Microsoft on Wednesday is offering up more details on its would-be rival to the iPhone's app store.

The software maker said it will charge developers $99 a year, plus $99 for each application they submit to get an app into the Windows Marketplace store. Through the end of this year, though, developers who register will be able to submit five applications at no additional charge.

The software maker defended the charge: "Microsoft will run a rigorous certification process to ensure that the end user's experience is optimal, and that the device and network resources aren't used in a malicious way," a Microsoft representative said in a statement. "This process has a significant cost and Microsoft believes $99 is an acceptable cost of doing business for (software developers) looking to get in front of millions of customers."

The software maker pledged that it will also offer developers "complete transparency throughout the application submission process" as well as direct feedback. Apple has been criticized for being slow to respond to developer questions while an application is in the approval process, as well as providing developers with little information as to why certain applications were rejected.

Developers who choose to charge for their programs will keep 70 percent of the proceeds. (Free titles will also be allowed). By comparison, Apple also gives developers 70 percent of app sales through its App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Research In Motion has pledged to give developers an 80 percent cut in their forthcoming store.

Microsoft announced plans for the mobile application store at last month's Mobile World Congress. The store is set to debut with the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 in the fourth quarter of this year.

The software maker plans to let developers start registering in the spring and begin submitting applications this summer.

Microsoft also said it was launching a sales and marketing program to help developers, though it didn't say how large that program will be.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10193205-56.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=BeyondBinary
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Offline Bonk

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2009, 02:57:39 pm »
Wait a minute, I thought this store was going to be actual physical retail outlets selling tangible products?

I sure hope they don't base such a concept on the Apple business model. (The concept of hardware vendor lock-in is flawed, as Apple is slowly discovering.)

I think this is a bad move on MS's part. Look what happens when you try to do everything, you have to charge double for it like Apple does.

Now if they were to split the company into Microsoft and Microhard (um maybe not that name, but you get the idea...).

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2009, 04:49:05 pm »
Maybe they are doing both? 
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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2009, 06:04:52 am »
Wait a minute, I thought this store was going to be actual physical retail outlets selling tangible products?


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SEATTLE (AP) -- Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it is planning to open its first two retail stores in Arizona and California this fall.

The software maker said Tuesday it signed leases at shopping centers in Mission Viejo, Calif. and Scottsdale, Ariz. The Shops at Mission Viejo is already home to an Apple store. The other location, Scottsdale Fashion Square, does not have a competing Apple Inc. shop.

The software maker confirmed details reported earlier by CNET News.
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Offline Clark Kent

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Re: Microsoft to Open Stores
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2009, 08:14:37 am »
Meh.

M$ is long over due for some kind of store that shows it's products off, but I get really tired of M$ always copying others work so blatantly.  Honestly, i think Ballmer was a poor choice as CEO.  Sooner or later I think he will step down, or at least I hope he does, and someone better will be put in his place.

I may not have liked Gates, but he was a skilled businessman.  Ballmer is... not so much.  At least not in this role.  Seems to me that M$ has lost focus and is trying to be everything to everyone, to the detriment of it's core products. 
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