Microsoft surpasses 100 Apple Store clone mark. Still no customers.

“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

SEE ALSO:
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.]

23 Comments

    1. The headline I thought was very funny, one of MDN’s best, better than recode’s

      A Microsoft spokesman claims there’s a line all the time at the Fifth Avenue store, can anyone verify that? If it’s true, are all the people geeks and dorks queueing up to play with the VR gear? I could believe that

    2. The HIT Microsoft would take from closing the stores would be greater than keeping them open. They are advertising centers. That’s a tax write off. If they admit failure, it will show the world they have lost relevance, which will reflect in lost sales.

      Microsoft was really hoping the stores would benefit from mobile phones, and be a place for customers to pilgrim to in support of their beloved personal devices. As we know, that never materialized. Now it’s there to make sure the rest of the ship doesn’t sink.

  1. I would have thought MS would have done something to bring people in like classes, Thursday specials, freebees, lectures or anything to draw a crowd. No.

    I ocassionally walk by the MS store in South Coast Plaza & now give no more than a glance as staff almost always exceed customers.

    1. I agree. If they’re prepared to take losses on the stores in order to promote their brand and products they could at least provide classes and free troubleshooting appointments for customers. They could host game nights or some other social event to bring people in and make it a fun and cool place to hang out. But that’s not the M$ culture.

      Wait, why am I helping these people…?

      1. “A fun and cool place to hang out” is up around the corner on W 56th, Judge Roy Bean Public House. Go there after visiting Microsoft’s flagship store to relieve your depression, they’re sure to have your favourite barley water, if not try Delirium Tremens

  2. I got it all wrong. Working hard at the office all day or extra work freelancing. I’m stupid. I should just apply for a job at the Microsoft Store and get paid to do NOTHING but hang out. Move things once in awhile and chit chat! I’m stupid. I need to quit and apply for a job soon as one opens up in my area.

  3. This is an interesting observation. I live in the Washington DC area and we have three (and even a fourth if you go towards Baltimore) Microsoft stores. I frequent one more than the others but every once in awhile, stop in the others. They always seem busy to me with the exceptions of after dinner in the evenings. Forget Saturday and Sundays…it is packed with people. All three are in good locations in the Mall. My favorite Microsoft store is across from Victoria Secret and next to Tesla! Besides using it myself, I send all my clients there to purchase new laptops, get help in with their questions and receive training. They are a great support with out any attitude! And unlike Apple, they sell more than just Microsoft products. And unlike Apply, they sell games! I always see people having fun at a Microsoft store….unlike an Apple store!

  4. A flaky article written by an apple hack meant to stroke the apple junkies and make them feel good about the big $ they spend on apple hardware to run microsoft software. Hilarious!

  5. Why would anybody with half a brain purchase a Windows machine? Windows 10 basically records EVERYTHING a user does. This includes keystrokes and websites visited. It even uploads users’ files and taps into microphones and cameras. The only way to get rid of many of these offenses is to alter the registry. Who has the time and the experience to monkey around with that?

    For those unfortunate people that recently upgraded or purchased a computer with Windows 10 the following is an excellent video describing how to immunize the system.

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