Jul 28th, 2009

Microsoft’s very real brick-and-mortar stores are not too far off now, and it looks like Gizmodo got its hands on a Powerpoint presentation purportedly from “design and brand strategy” consultant firm Lippicott for how these retail outlets might turn out. The presentation overall is reminiscent of Apple’s stores, complete with its own “Answer Bar” for troubleshooting.

The designs look both legit and appealing, but still raise the question “Why?” Bryan Chaffin explains just how Microsoft is setting itself up for failure:

For one thing, Microsoft doesn’t have a lot of stuff to sell. Microsoft is, at its core, a company built around two products: Windows and Office. Yes, there is Xbox and peripherals like mice and keyboards, but the vast majority of the company’s business comes from Windows and Office, and having its own retail locations won’t help peddle these products.

In comparison, Apple has iPods and Macs and iPhones it can sell, and that’s a big part of why Apple’s retail locations have been so materially profitable for the company.

The other major purpose the Apple Store serves for Apple is as a base of operations to educate consumers. Apple needed high-profile locations to show off its products in the hands of employees under its control, that it trained.

Those are simply problems Microsoft has never had.

via WordPress at 3:58 PM