updated 10:05 am EST, Tue January 11, 2011
Microsoft Seattle store to sit opposite Apple
Microsoft's second retail store near its headquarters will once again follow the pattern of opening directly opposite an Apple store, according to new city permits. The Windows developer will take over the Miller-Pollard furniture shop at University Village, putting only a small parking lot between the two. No clues have been given as to when the store would open.
The company has often tried to get as close as possible to Apple stores in hopes of attracting undecided buyers back towards Windows and mobile platforms like Windows Phone and Zune. They also emulate the business model and have features such as a full-service support bar, functioning demo systems and bright, spacious environments.
Unofficial studies have suggested relatively little success, depending on the circumstances. Microsoft's stores often don't have any price advantage over a nearby big-box store and have considerably fewer exclusive products than an Apple location.
Microsoft has always cast the stores an experiment where it would pass on what it learns to Best Buy and other retailers. It hasn't said how much traffic or revenues its stores generate, however, where Apple has usually cited retail as a key driver and has over 300 stores, many of which are now more profitable per square foot than luxury stores such as Tiffany's. [via TechFlash]