Two photos nicely illustrate the disaster Microsoft is today

“Steve Ballmer is chief executive officer of Microsoft,” Matthew Yglesias reports for Slate.

“He’s been in the job for some time, but he recently announced that he’s stepping down,” Yglesias reports. “The fact that Ballmer’s departure was announced without the simultaneous announcement of a successor is a good indication he was pushed out the door by the board of directors.”

Yglesias reports, “And these photos taken Sunday around noon at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in Arlington, Va., show why… There were zero shoppers in the Microsoft store. At noon. On a Sunday in December at peak retail shopping season.”

Microsoft store (left) vs. Apple Retail Store (right) -photos by Matthew Yglesias
Microsoft store (left) vs. Apple Retail Store (right) -photos by Matthew Yglesias

Read more in the full article here.

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

58 Comments

    1. If they offered free coffee and cookies they would have non-employees in the store. If they want to get some bags walking around the mall, they could offer FREE software (in a really big box) with every 10 cups of coffee. Well they are free coffee but if they can only get the card punched once a day, in the end, it will give the illusion that 10 “customers” were in the store to anyone walking by. Get them to sit and watch a video for a second punch for that day.

      This will get people in the store with little to no additional cost or quality of products!

    1. Actually, that gives me an idea.

      Instead of luring consumers with Justin Bieber tickets, what if they staged chair-throwing contests?

      Buffalo chip-throwing events reliably bring out the rubes; why wouldn’t this work as well? The exuberance and athleticism of departing CEO Steve Ballmer ought to be recognised with such a gesture.

      Something that outré might help to resuscitate the creature on the slab.

  1. The scene was the same when I was in the Ala Moana store just before Father’s Day last summer. I suspect it’s the same everywhere there are M$ and Apple stores in juxtaposition…

    1. Notice How the picture was taken??
      A wider / angle shot to the corner part of MS store which has Zero customers 🙂
      Versus a short almost corner shot of an Apple Store that is / always very crowded & busy 🙂

      The people votes / Buys at Apple Stores worldwide !!!!!!

  2. Ok, so the 2 stores do not have the church groups in them yet. I assume that Microsoft doesn’t do any better with those that believe in God either. Just who is Microsoft’s target customers? Perhaps, Monday with corporate start up disasters will bring in the crowd. Or when the Windows PC crashes over the weekend, they just stop at the Apple Store and get a Mac and tell the IT department that they had to buy from the store that had the solutions.

    Never mind. Monday may look the same as Sunday in the wide open Microsoft store. Have they thought about selling coffee in those stores so they can show some cash transactions from them?

    1. Interesting thought! How about revisiting on Wednesday (Microsoft still does “Patch Tuesdays” don’t they?)? Maybe there’s an uptick in visitors… not there to shop but to get their PC back working after the patch messed something up.

  3. doesn’t show is that all the customers of the Microsoft store were outside the store tap dancing to the tune of Surface Pro magnetic lids snapping shut.

  4. I was recently in Somerset Mall in Troy MI – which has a huge Apple Store on Level 1, and a Microsoft Store facing it on Level 2 of the mall. This was after the iPad Air was released, but before the iPad mini Retina was released …

    Apple Store – more staff in the store than I could count, more customers in the store than I could count.

    Microsoft Store – 14 people total in the store – 9 were staff, 3 were playing Xbox games, 1 person was getting service of some kind for a laptop from one of the staff, and the final person was looking at Windows phones. Of the 5 “customers” 3 had Apple bags in their hands or near them (on the floor at the feet of the Xbox players).

    You could not find a more polar opposite sight in that Mall that day.

    1. I know that place. I’ll visit the area for Christmas.

      The MS store in a mall reminds me of the old SNL skit about the Scotch Tape store in the mall. No one ever visited there either.

  5. I make it to the Tysons Corner Mall in VA every couple months for work in the area. I always like to walk the mall to compare the Apple and Microsoft stores. When Microsoft first opened, a bunch of people would hang out outside – OUTSIDE – playing the two xbox’s, and never more than 4 people (plus salespeople) inside. Now, I rarely see anyone playing their xbox’s, and I usually just see their salespeople chatting with each other inside. Apple store on the other hand, lots of people, too many to count as I walk by. I’d say “amazing” but it’s all about the product; there is nothing amazing about it.

  6. Well, Best Buy did prove it’s chops to direct people to the goods it wants to sell. Best Buy had Microsoft Surface 2 as it’s number one device last week, and being in a BB store last week, they were effectively directing people to the Microsoft display (Many units available along with complete Samsung display of goods in each and every aisle of the store), with very few people looking at the lone iPad and iPad mini on display.

    1. I wonder how much Microsoft is paying big-box stores to promote their stuff. The advertising blitz for the Surface is just constant. It’s like saturation bombing with feces. If I see another one of their idiotic commercials, I’ll scream!

      Whoops, there’s another one.
      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      It seems to me that they’re pushing a little too hard. T’will be interesting to see the post-holiday numbers.

  7. Hey, MDN, why no link to the article from ?2007? whose author famously predicted, “I give Apple two years before this venture into retail space is written off as a bad experiment.” ??!? The prediction was probably quite accurate, it just misnamed the company!

  8. I went into the microsoft store ,@st. johns town center FL ,twice this weekend and both time I could see employees stand around talking to each other and never came over to help me. Some were looking at their phones, I guess checking out pics or messages.

    1. You probably looked too much like a douche hipster, and by implication Apple customer, to them.

      If you want to be served at the Microsoft store, you need to grow a neck beard, have scraggly teeth, and not shower for two weeks, like your typical IT doofus.

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