With both “earnings and revenue down, [Microsoft] has got to make some changes. Microsoft Chief Steve Ballmer’s excuse for this decline seems to be the difficulties of the recession,” John C. for MarketWatch. “So why doesn’t Apple Inc. have these same difficulties?”
Dvorak writes, “It’s time for Microsoft to take the next step in its evolution and build out a branded computer that it can eventually sell in the slated Microsoft stores… Are these [Microsoft] stores going to be clones of CompUSA or Egghead or any other number of failed stores seen in the past?”
MacDailyNews Take: From the looks of them, Microsoft Stores are designed to be to Apple Retail Stores what Windows is to Mac and Zune is to iPod+iTunes: Ill-conceived, poorly-executed bastardizations of Apple products.
Dvorak continues, “The mistake that has been consistently made in the past is trying to be a grocery store where you have a huge variety of things to sell… From the reports so far, this mistake sounds like what Microsoft is going to do. These stores will become the Waterloo for Steve Ballmer. If Microsoft is going to use the grocery store model, then I’d cancel the stores immediately.”
“Microsoft does not need to be servicing a Dell laptop retuned by a customer now blaming Microsoft for its failure,” Dvorak writes. “A failure in this [retail store] venue could be catastrophic for Microsoft. It needs branded hardware to be a success. It’s that simple.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The day Microsoft releases a Microsoft PC is the the day Steve Jobs signs strict Mac OS X licensing deals (in which Apple closely approves and certifies the hardware) with HP, Sony, Lenovo, and/or other PC box assemblers (Dell can SIDAGTMBTTS). With $30+ billion in the bank, iPhone, iPod (and maybe even a tablet) Apple could easily afford to take whatever hit to Mac hardware sales would occur with such a move.* The personal computer operating system landscape would change dramatically for the better overnight.
*Apple would retain certain advantages (unibody construction for notebooks, Jonny Ive design, for just two examples) that nobody would be able to match, so the hit to Apple’s Mac hardware business might be less than some might think at first glance.