e-commercetimes writes; "Apple has proven it can succeed with its own chain of branded retail stores. Can Microsoft pull off the same thing? Rumors suggest that Redmond is considering such a venture, but The Mac Observer's John Martellaro says the move would be folly. Apple's products and philosophy make it a shoo-in for retail success; Microsoft stuff just doesn't excite customers at the sales-floor level.
"Rumors are floating around that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is considering retail stores, like Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) , to showcase its products. The problem is, there's nothing to showcase, and while Apple understands the retail store paradigm and has products to back it up, Microsoft does not."
"Microsoft's estimation of the retail market appears to be influenced by Apple's success, and the thinking may be, "Hey, if Apple can do it, so can we."
"The problem with that thinking is that it completely ignores the fundamentals of the retail business, what turns customers on, what drives them into stores, what makes them pull out their credit cards and what they expect from the retail buying experience. In order to do that, one first has to have products that are easy to support, easy to use, and for which customers lust. Apple's product design and philosophy naturally leads to retail; Microsoft's does not."
"There just isn't any analog to Apple products on the Windows side. Customers love cool toys and hardware as evidenced by Apple's enormous Christmas holiday sales. As a result, if Microsoft is even thinking about retail stores like Apple's, they've demonstrated that they fundamentally don't understand the consumer experience and that their corporate strategy remains focused on wannabe greed and not a clear vision of what customers need."