“Microsoft began its retail effort with a handful of stores in 2009 and now has more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as a newly-opened outlet in Sydney, Australia,” Ina Fried reports for Recode. “They come in a variety of sizes ranging from the 22,000-square-foot New York flagship, to standard locations of around 3,000 square feet, to small stores and kiosks that occupy as few as 150 square feet.”

“The stores draw comparisons to Apple’s retail effort, which began six years earlier,” Fried reports. “Microsoft’s stores have a warm decor, plenty of helpful staffers and an array of PCs, phones and devices. They could use a few more customers, though.”

“It’s hard to know exactly how the stores are doing since Microsoft won’t comment on either sales or traffic figures. It is fair to say, though, that it is not uncommon to visit stores in which workers outnumber customers,” Fried reports. “In San Francisco, even the tiny Amazon kiosk a floor below often has more customers than the far larger Microsoft store.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft Apple Retail Store knockoffMicrosoft’s retail stores are simply another thing in a long line of bad Apple simulations that pale in comparison to the real thing.

We fail to recognize what Microsoft’s plan is. Oh, wait, they don’t have one. This is Ballmer-era abject stupidity from which Nadella doesn’t seem to have figured out how to extract the company. So, on some preordained schedule, they just keep opening stores that never pay for themselves and just bleed money. Nadella seems to be afraid to take the PR hit that would come from sensibly ending this debacle and hanging “CLOSED” signs in the windows… er, Windows.

The whole thing is ludicrous and inexplicable.

As we wrote back in 2012: Free concert tickets are the only way Microsoft can generate fake crowds for their fake stores.

Rarely have we seen a concept so universally derided as Microsoft retail stores. Even Vista and Zune were better received. The fact that Microsoft is seriously considering retail stores is proof positive that the company’s “management” has an unmeasurably over-inflated opinion of the company. They’re completely delusional. It’s as if they don’t realize that they suck. And that’d actually be somewhat sad, if it weren’t so effing funny! — MacDailyNews Take, February 13, 2009

Frustration and mediocrity hardly beckon for a retail showcase. This is just more half-assed copying of Apple. What are they going to do, instead of intricate staircases, install glass ledges from which their suckers customers can leap?

At least Microsoft Retail Stores would be colorful with all of their Red Rings and Blue Screens of Death and Brown Zunes on clearance.

At Microsoft Retail Store Grand Openings, the first 1,000 people to visit get a free bottle of Pepto. Microsoft will still have 900+ bottles left after the first week.

Fact: If they tried to open retail stores, Microsoft would be about as successful as Gateway or Dell. Anyone who says differently lacks even the vaguest understanding of why Apple dominates retail like none other.MacDailyNews Take, February 12, 2009

Microsoft retail store moving in one door over, Apple Retail Store moving on up – March 13, 2012
Microsoft retail store traffic pales in comparison to Apple’s – November 26, 2010
Microsoft retail fiasco to remodel? Apple files trademark for distinctive retail store layout – May 19, 2010
Microsoft Retail Stores have to resort to free concert tickets to generate opening day crowds – October 30, 2009
Notes from Microsoft’s first retail store: ‘Cheap, disorganized, and poorly-located’ (with photo) – October 23, 2009
Microsoft’s Windows 7 launch parties prove to be complete and utter failures – October 23, 2009
Microsoft’s Bizarro Universe: 8 years late; in garish color; featuring inferior products (w/ video) – October 22, 2009
Analyst expects Apple to have over 1,000 retail stores open worldwide within next few years – October 08, 2009
Microsoft attempting to poach Apple retail staff – September 22, 2009
Apple likely Fifth Avenue’s highest grossing retailer – August 24, 2009
Microsoft to open first two retail stores in Mission Viejo, California and Scottsdale, Arizona – July 29, 2009
Microsoft to mimic Apple (what else is new?) with ‘Guru Bars’ in retail stores – July 25, 2009
Ex-Apple VP a key figure in Microsoft’s retail initiative – July 20, 2009
Microsoft to have hard time matching the enthusiasm at Apple retail stores – July 18, 2009
Microsoft to open retail stores near Apple Retail Stores this fall – July 15, 2009
How Microsoft’s retail stores plan to compete with Apple’s – April 17, 2009
Microsoft Retail Stores: The dumbest idea ever – February 13, 2009
How Microsoft’s retail stores will differ from Apple’s – February 13, 2009
Microsoft’s new retail guru Porter has history of working against Apple – February 13, 2009
Microsoft’s last retail store attempt was a dismal failure – February 13, 2009
Microsoft hires Wal-Mart vet to oversee development of Microsoft Retail Stores – February 12, 2009

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