Microsoft effort to replicate Apple fails; all Microsoft retail stores to shut down

Well, it took long enough, but even Microsoft’s patience for perpetuating a grand ruse has its limits. The company will shutter all of its 80 or so of its remaining retail stores – the exact number seems to be unknown, since nobody cares; at one point they had at least 100 empty spaces scattered about – as the company has yet again failed to replicate Apple’s success.

Microsoft Retail Store in Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona
Microsoft’s first Retail Store opened in in Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona in 2009

Dan Weil for TheStreet:

Microsoft announced Friday a permanent closure of its physical retail stores… The closings will result in a pre-tax charge of about $450 million, or 5 cents per share, to be recorded in the current quarter ending June 30.

“Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter said in the statement.

MacDailyNews Take: Bwahahahahaha!

COVID-19 finally woke up Satya Nadella (or provided him with a convenient excuse to dump a Friday announcement of failure).

Microsoft’s web site indicates that it has about 80 stores. The company began opening stores in 2009, seeking to replicate Apple’s success with its Apple Stores.

MacDailyNews Take: It took eleven years of Microsoft pumping cash down the rat hole, but reality eventually hits even those with billions of dollars to waste.

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

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

Steve Ballmer
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Yet another fiasco from Ballmer T. Clown and Co.MacDailyNews, October 19, 2009

Free concert tickets are the only way Microsoft can generate fake crowds for their fake stores.MacDailyNews, March 13, 2012

Microsoft’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.MacDailyNews, May 11, 2016


  1. Please lets be a little more sensitive right now about this issue in this Pandemic. People are losing there jobs and are unable to provide for their families.

  2. I’m willing to bet Microsoft stock goes up in value due to the stores’ closing. Closing of the Microsoft retail stores will be seen as a positive thing by big investors. Just the way Microsoft’s value went up after sinking billions of dollars into their WindowsPhone mobile effort and they got nothing back in return. Some stocks simply never lose value because big investors remain confident in a company’s core strength. Microsoft is one of those companies. Heaven help Apple if it closes any stores. Analysts will claim Apple is surely going out of business.

  3. I went to the Scottsdale one in 09. It was directly across from the Apple Store! The decor was very similar, but it was missing something! CUSTOMERS!

  4. The difference from being inspired by and rank copying my friend. The former often goes on to greater things, the latter flounders in mediocrity and confusion and aims at its height to be merely ‘good enough’ to fool the masses. Those masses when given choice usually see through it in the end. The failure of the shops is a wonderful microcosm of that effect in action likes others have found no matter how much you talk it up how much you spend in PR to persue the perception of success, the lie is time limited particular when presented to those who think for themselves.

    1. MS forced geeks, nerds, and dour IT defuses to listen to hand clapping when the clapping is for consumers such as the Apple store. So it was largely misapplied to the wrong crowd. But MS was always about force-feeding either bad stuff or the wrong stuff on people.

  5. I resented MS Stores after the despicable way it stole and then pessimistically treated Apple technology by downgrading its version. I also resented that MS gave Apple users an inferior Word for no good reason but corporate vindictiveness. And then it tried to have Apple kill QuickTime but, to its credit, Apple resisted even at that time of weakness.
    And now I am experiencing a proper measure of schadenfreude.

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