Ballmer: ‘We’ve got to beat’ Apple anyway, so let’s build retail stores right next to them

“If you thought that Microsoft was simply out to copy Apple’s popular retail experiment, experience, and success, you don’t know the half of it,” Alex Wilhelm reports for TNW.

Wilhelm reports, “Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, in an interview with Businessweek, outlined the reasons for the locational positioning: ‘[the stores placed near Apple’s as] the traffic is going to be there, and we’ve got to beat them anyway.’ That last clause, that Microsoft not only can, but must, beat Apple is rather telling.”

Read more in the full article here.

Ashlee Vance reports for BusinessWeek, “They had his dining room waiting. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s (MSFT) chief executive and one of the richest men in the world, often eats privately at a Bellevue (Wash.) steakhouse whose name remains, at the behest of his security guards, a secret. Ballmer uses the room to break bread with prospective partners, employees, and, on one frigid Northwestern evening in November, a reporter. Although the room has enough space to host a small bar mitzvah, on this particular night, there’s only one table, graced with four meticulously presented settings and located center-floor, surrounded by empty space. It’s here that Ballmer, 55 and worth about $14 billion, wages a twin battle on the reigning conventional wisdom that discounts Microsoft’s role in the new digital landscape—and on a pork chop and accompanying wedge salad.”

Read much more in the full article here.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

MacDailyNews Take: The man is some kind of a genius or something. Truly a wonder to behold. Microsoft shareholders should continue to just sit back and watch Ballmer work his magic.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jai Gill” for the heads up.]

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  1. Complete and utter *********** can’t see what’s in front of him – if your going to copy the the best at least be better – piles & piles of office will not do the same as apple retail stores

    1. Whenever I go into the microsoft store (on my way to the apple store) I always stop to tell a sales guy, “You know, it’s okay, there is no shame in copying from the best.” Then I walk across the hall to the apple store.
      For a mall to have an apple store is a big deal, it brings in lots of customers. I think Ballmer will find that written into most lease agreements is the phrase, “and no stupid copy cat stores within 300 yards.” Similar to the way coffee shops negotiate their mall leases.

  2. This guy’s in charge? Only a matter of time before Microsoft sinks into oblivion. Ballmer is Gates’ worst business decision ever. May he stay in charge to the end!

    1. Only a matter of time before Microsoft sinks into oblivion.

      No doubt. But first MoronoStooge has to burn through its cash. Putting up LOTS of Microsoft stores next to Apple stores is a great way to kill million$. More please! 😎

  3. “[the stores placed near Apple’s as] the traffic is going to be there”

    You know, that makes a lot of sense. +1 to Ballmer for going where the action is. Of course, this backfires if MS has no compelling products and the stores remain ghost towns.

    (BTW, the link that MDN provides which shows a return on investment chart is misleading. I don’t think it includes the 4% MS dividend 😉 )

    1. “You know, that makes a lot of sense.”

      No, it’s actually completely insane.

      The traffic is there for Apple. When the traffic got up in the morning, it collectively thought “You know what I’m NOT going to do today? Go out and buy some PC hardware”. The stuff being sold at the Microsoft Store is exactly what the traffic isn’t shopping for and has made the conscious decision to avoid.

      It’s like expecting to steal customers away from the luxury yacht store by opening up an inflatable raft business right next to it.

      1. True, but…

        You (and I) are operating under the assumption that Microsoft’s products are so obviously inferior that it’s a waste of time to try to snag customers on the way to the Apple store.

        But if you truly believe your products are competitive, setting up right next to your competition is the way to go.

        It’s why Walgreens always tends to spring up right across the road from CVS, and vice versa.


  4. “and we’ve got to beat them anyway”
    Oh yea, well Dream on Monkey Boy.
    There is Noooooo way in ur wildest Dreams that with u @ the Helm of Microsucks that u will ever beat APPLE in Anything, (Never)
    So just continue doing what ur doing, keep Flushing all that Cash down the Toilet.

    (Listen Microsucks is “Persona non Gratta”)
    Good Riddance.

  5. Sounds like Howard Ballmer is just around the corner from wearing Kleenex boxes on his feet and saving his nail clippings. “More blue cheese dressing – NOW! But be sure to hold the sweet cream!”

  6. In San Diego, the Microsoft store is about 4 doors down from the (recently-expanded) Apple store.

    The Apple Store is so full of customers that I’m surprised the fire marshal is not involved.

    The Microsoft Store has more employees than customers, the majority of both of which are clustered near the Kinect display. The total likely wouldn’t fill a medium-sized elevator.

    Go Ballmer, for as long as it takes!

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