“None of Microsoft’s partners have any idea what the long term intentions of the company are [in regard to their just-announced 'Surface' tablets]. Many claim that Microsoft will relent from the hardware game because of channel conflict. It would just hate to step on the toes of its OEMs,” John C. Dvorak writes for PC Magazine. “This is baloney.”

“First of all, nobody is coming to bat with a Windows 8 tablet and Microsoft knows it. The iPad rules the scene and no one else will do much more than fool around with variations on a theme, mostly using Android,” Dvorak writes. “The space is moribund and so Microsoft jumped in. Does anyone seriously think that if Surface sales skyrocketed and brought in billions of dollars that Microsoft would give the product to Acer or Dell?”

“Overlooked in all the analysis is the fact that Microsoft needs branded products to sell at the Microsoft stores. It’s amazing how many people have yet to grasp the reality that Microsoft is opening storefronts left and right,” Dvorak writes. “Today’s count indicates that there are 20 stores now open for business with five more coming soon. These stores will fail if they devolve into a second coming of CompUSA. They need to be like Apple stores and that means they must sell branded merchandise. There are no margins in reselling HP or Dell computers, and HP has already threatened to quit the PC business once already.”

Dvorak writes, “The Apple stores, if you haven’t noticed, account for the incredible success of the company over the past few years. They bring in a whopping $4,000 per square foot in annual retail sales, topping perennial sales star Tiffany & Co. The 363 stores in 13 countries move products like crazy—and Microsoft has noticed. It needs stores and branded products, period.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Better stock up on the Demi Lovato tickets, Uncle Fester, you’re going to need every one of them for your never-ending smoke and mirrors show. Without a freebie attached, no one but the truly deluded enter a Microsoft store of their own volition.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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