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Microsoft stores open first in Apple-heavy cities

updated 11:20 am EDT, Wed July 29, 2009

MS Stores in AZ and CA

Microsoft's first retail stores will launch in two cities where Apple already has a major presence, the company confirmed today. The Windows developer has signed leases both in Mission Viejo, California as well as Scottsdale, Arizona and will be surrounded by Apple retail shops. The California store will be the only one to open in the same mall as its rival, launching in The Shops at Mission Viejo, but all of them will have five Apple stores within driving distance.

The Arizona store is poised to launch in Scottsdale Fashion Square, roughly 15 minutes directly south of Apple's location.

Company communications director Kim Stocks would only say the locations were chosen as they were "hot markets." However, Microsoft has previously acknowledged that it plans to shadow Apple when possible with its stores to give customers a direct comparison between Windows systems and Macs, which it has tried to portray as a lesser value.

The firm also confirmed some of what it would sell at the stores as well as some of its expectations. It plans to primarily sell notebook PCs, software from itself as well as others, and its own Xbox 360 and Zune hardware. Stocks reiterated that the stores are primarily showcases to highlight the brand, but unlike past executives stated that its retail shops are expected to be profitable rather than just experiments to pass on information to others.

Other than a general fall launch window, no information has been made available as to how many stores will open or how much of its leaked plans will translate to the final stores. Although it has said its stores would innovate, the leak alluded to a Guru Bar that would copy Apple's Genius bar as well as similar workshops and open store layouts.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...copiers must be running hot!

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Interesting... see which laptops they'll be selling. The ones with the best integration and image will not be the bargain basement ones people are used to (a friend boasted of his $600 16" PC until I pointed out the 1366x768 native res).

    If they make it all about value - then it's a race to the bottom and people will be heading to Best Buy and WalMart. Apple's stores averaged over $1M to open - that's a lot of prime real estate that you can afford when 90% of the product revenue is your own - if MS is selling its biggest ticket items for someone else who gets the lion's share of that hardware revenue, are they really going to make enough on additional copies of Windows, Zunes and X-Box to pay that mortgage?

    If not it's a desperate way of putting your image out there - billboards are way cheaper. Remember, Apple makes most of its money in the retail shop from their own brand's hardware sales - they make so little on additional copies of OS X that they see fit to let it go for $29.

  1. taojones

    Joined: Dec 1969


    guru disaster

    a fantasy visit to microsoft’s guru bar imagine a middle aged woman with a shopping cart full of beige peripherals and chords pulls up to the counter with a virus ridden hard drive that has had the usb drivers removed by her 14 year old nephew ( who knows a lot about computers) chords ,wires, missing dlls and drivers unrecognized devices .I average about 3 days of calls tech support( both mr softie and the vendor) and research until I get stuff running right on a pc. it is always a nightmare .how will Microsoft handle a line of 20 such customers . Will the stores be the worst public embarrassment for mister softie ever? “sorry lady I have to wipe your drive and reinstall the os it will take about 4 hours and you will lose all the pictures of grandma at her last birthday before she died”

    This is going to be really rich . I know Mr balmer has not thought this through.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Scottsdale location

    the MS Store's Scottsdale location is nowhere near the new Apple Store.

    15 minutes away? Not exactly around the corner. In the same city, yes. Scottsdale is big.

    However Scottsdale Fashion Square is a good, very visible location. If the MS Store is full of fail, it will be a very public failure given that high profile location.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I know Mr balmer has not thought this through.

    indeed. Unless they have thought of something I haven't... how on earth are they going to deal with these people with BSOD and virus-ridden computers?

    If your corner PC shop stays in business by fixing this stuff that happens all the time to PC users... how the h*** is a MS Store going to help people with this in a satisfactory manner? Tell them to buy a new computer with Windows 7?

  1. akulavolk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Location Choice

    "Microsoft has previously acknowledged that it plans to shadow Apple when possible with its stores to give customers a direct comparison between Windows systems and Macs"

    And when I copied off friend's tests in grade school, it was so that my teachers could get a better direct comparison between my work and my friends'.

    Maybe MS doesn't know anything about retail, which is why they're shadowing?


    Joined: Dec 1969


    A new way to sell the PC

    Microsoft is doing this because it can no longer rely solely on other brick and mortar retailers to sell and promote it's products. The same reason why Apple opened it's own stores.

    Question is: will they have Macs on display running Windows in Bootcamp? I'm sure they would if it sold a copy of Windows 7.

  1. DougJ

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MSFT shops

    Yeah, a room full of ugly PCs displaying a blue screen of death is going to help them! LOL

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    at least

    we know that they will all be very "innovative".

    right luck?

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ha, I'd like to see how

    close they can get a Microsoft Store next to the NYC flagship Cube Store. How about them putting up a tent in the front of South Central Park?

    And they're still gonna be pushing those Zunes, specifically the Zune HD. I really think MS is wasting their time with these retail stores merely to target Apple's retail stores.

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