Windows

Poll: Will you shop at a Microsoft Store?

The TechRepublic Windows Blog member poll question: If one were located in your local mall, would you shop at a Microsoft Store?

Microsoft has opened Microsoft Stores, the company's retail outlet endeavor, in Scottsdale, Arizona; Mission Viejo, California; Lone Tree, Colorado; San Diego, California; and Oak Brook, Illinois. Assuming this new business venture is a success, or perhaps whether they are successful or not, there will be more retail outlets coming soon.

Obviously, Microsoft has looked at the success of the Apple retail outlets and has decided to make a foray into the market. The problem is Apple has a cultural mystic that draws customers to stores for the "experience," while Microsoft is perceived much more pragmatically. Despite marketing campaigns like "Where Do You Want to Go Today" and "Windows 7 Was My Idea," Microsoft cannot shake the image of a soulless mega-corporation.

I am probably not a good judge of the merits of Microsoft Stores since I find the Apple "experience" more akin to a mindless-controlling cult than a place to buy an MP3 player, but I would go to a Microsoft Store just to see what it was like. What about you -- would you run out to the Microsoft Store every time a new Zune hit the market? Would you visit one just to say you did? Or would you avoid that wing of the local mall on the outside chance that you might accidently be seen in a Microsoft Store?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

152 comments
aaronchall
aaronchall

Microsoft = Bloatware, Viruses, Resource Hog, Requires additional Antivirus, AntiMalware, and Firewall, which doesn't work half the time, Crapware that's impossible to uninstall, Blue Screens of Death. Instead, I use Ubuntu: http://shop.canonical.com/

kurienjessen
kurienjessen

its a great idea..and i will definately chk it

dhays
dhays

I didn't answer the poll. There is no option for "it depends on pricing" I would say it depends on what I was looking for and if they beat the prices available elsewhere for the same item. I have no need to go to an Apple store, probably won't ever go. The only specialized store of that type I have been is the T-Mobile store as we are customers of T-Mobile. For anything else we go to regular stores Wal*Mart, Target, Best Buy... If they were to sell their products less than the other outlets, then why not? I haven't bought anything Microsoft, except at one of those monthly computer sales events that comes to town and their prices usually can't be beat at a regular retail store. If one comes to town, I might go see what it is all about, but that would probably be the one and only time.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I asked earlier, but maybe the post got lost. For the benefit of those who don't have a Microsoft store this side of the Kessel run (less than 12 parsecs), what inventory do they stock? What services do they offer? I assume they've got boxes versions of MS software, Xboxes, Zunes, and MS-branded mice and keyboards. Anything else?

IvanImes
IvanImes

I think besides the horrible advertising (why the hell is Microsoft so bad at making commercials and advertising!? Do they say "you know what people like? Horrible, painful awkwardness!") I think it would be pretty interesting to see their offerings and how things play out. I would definitely give this a chance.

thejdawg569_2000
thejdawg569_2000

You know how long did it take for apple to finally come outta the closet and try to market something useful. Microsoft is what created the pc market Bill gates is way more the entrepreneur than Steve Jobs. the only thing that made apple was the ipod and Microsoft Zune beats then hands down. Go Microsoft take the torch again and run. Bill Gates ruler of the universe 2025 you got my vote. how much charity does Apple give back?

pikeman666
pikeman666

Why pay full retail for MS stuff when it is available at steep discounts online? Only suckers and Apple users pay retail for anything computer-related.

gerbilio
gerbilio

Microsoft's soulless mega-corporation vs. Apple's mind control cult: can the world get any worse? How about Linux's chaotic anarchy? Haaaalp!!

KNOWLEDGE464
KNOWLEDGE464

Yes, I would go to the store and maybe buy a few things but just to comment on some things said: If anyone has been to Disneyland and seen the pilot store for Microsoft, I thought it was genius we even got to see the New table that you can touch the screen showing water and it moves like your hand is really in the water I know this is not new its been out for a few years already but not for the public. But, to see some of the new technology they have coming out on display drew in crowds at Disney land and would draw a nice bunch in the mall. I think the store will do great because one simple thing XBOX360 and its future replacement what ever that is, besides it would be a bad idea to be more expensive because its a store I think Microsoft will surprise us if they were a few bucks cheaper in their store than any other just to bring in the customers. I mean if it meant paying 48 dollars for a game vs 52 anywhere else (hypothetical numbers. You would definitely be there for Black OPS opening at midnight LOL. So relax MS haters love your MACS but stick to the point NO MAC LOVERS WONT GO TO MS STORE THATS A GIVEN but they will play XBOX360 and thats where you get your mac lovers pool of customers bwahahahaha Microsoft has you anyway unless your a PS3 fan.

n6xhh
n6xhh

Putting aside all the Apple/MS religious BS, being a Microsoft user I would certainly visit a store that opened near me. I certainly would NOT make a trip further than 10 miles to do so. I have 5 "large" malls within 20 miles; 4 Best buys and 2 Fry's Electronics within 10 miles that all sell Microsoft products, and yet I buy most software on-line from trusted sources at a better price. Hardware (I build my own systems) I get online from the same sources or buy locally on-sale. I would visit a new store just to see what, if anything, Microsoft does to differentiate themselves from other retail outlets.

mertoman
mertoman

No. I will look at products there, but, Microsoft Store prices are consistently higher than other stores, so, I will purchase elsewhere..

OCJim
OCJim

Not likely. I agree with Kaelin about Apple stores, although the genius bar addressing hardware issues has come in handy a few times. I guess MS could have a similar service for their cordless mice! Not sure if that is a fit. MS needs some innovated and attractive hardware; then their 'store' could be complete with a 'help' bar of sorts (which may have lines around the block!). oc jim

shanechao
shanechao

Only if they have a qualified and knowledgeable licensing expert who can help sort out MS' obtuse and ever changing licensing rule. If they staff it with excellent tech support people that give better answers than: "Restart your Computer" or "You need to reinstall Windows". To be fair, I've also found the "geniuses" at Apple Store to be lacking.

john3347
john3347

Do you suppose that if Microsoft came down from outer space and started listening and RESPONDING to the users' needs and preferences they would, in time, shake this image?????

techrepublic
techrepublic

What exactly would I go for?? The same buggy insecure crap that we can already get?

ifallsguy
ifallsguy

I think your putting Apple is a cult is one of the best descriptions out there. I'm just waiting for them to put a picture of Saint Jobs, halo around him, on the ceilings of their stores. And a reprinting of the bible according to St. Jobs.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I can imagine a repair shop. Maybe a Zune store (People still buy those???) A software store to get latest Windows and Office and other suites they buy out. Maybe hard copy versions of frameworks like .Net and DirectX for those on dialup. But what else is there, its not like Apple which actually is in the business of selling computing devices, Microsoft sells software...

rick_hoffman
rick_hoffman

A Mirosoft Store just opened at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. I plan on checking out what they have to offer in store. Are these stores gear towards home users or business users as well? What can I demo and what's going to be missing? I am also curious to see how competive prices will be with online retail.

skranish
skranish

Only if they sell things like Blue-Screen-of-Death plush toys and Crash Dummy dolls.

melias
melias

I would definately visit at least once, hoping for "cool" tech and ideas for making my setup, and possibly my house, smarter. As for price deals, I can always use Amazon.com, and the local Microcenter super-store. So definately yes, at least once, with high hopes.

Robert Lerner
Robert Lerner

Not a doubt I would. I could rant for hours about how much Tech Republic loves other mega-corporations that are corrupt in terms of privacy (Google), and about companies that just landed good marketing for the shame shit they've sold for years (Apple). But the truth is, since the majority of the e-mails I get from this site incorporate those two companies, and all that they do (like I really care), I'll leave it at: I go into Apple Stores to make fun of the employees in front of customers when they say "No viruses", and I'd go to a Microsoft store to legitimately shop.

Northeast & Atlantic RR
Northeast & Atlantic RR

To see evreything they have at list price ? Hardly. But to see things that are unusual and to gain information, I probably would. Information and curiosity - that the combination.

yobtaf
yobtaf

I don't understand what the purpose would be.

.Martin.
.Martin.

according to google, I would have to kayak 16000km, and I'm not very good at kayaking...

daryl_b
daryl_b

I have been robbed since DOS 4, I may have to buy a windows 7. They will never be loved, too much history to forget.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

MS Software (Windows, Office, Encarta, etc) Keyboards Mouses Web cameras Xbox Zunes Games (XBox and Windows) Presenters Controllers (for xbox and pcs) Headphones Cooling bases for laptops

john3347
john3347

Wouldn't it be neat if, in addition to software, they sold PC components that they have tested would recommend (aka get the largest mark-up on) as well as completely assembled computers pre-loaded with Windows and a recommended (aka Microsoft) application package? I can see the huge window advertisement now: "GET YOUR WINDOWS PC AT AN APPLE PRICE HERE TODAY!" (A degree of humor is accepted here, isn't it?)

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

This made me chuckle - I do seem to be a little jaded don't I. I'll have to work on my attitude.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

And if monkeys flew out my butt, I could make a living with the circus. Which do you suppose will happen first?

neldeeb
neldeeb

Yes. You buy a PC AND YOU KNOW THAT EVENTUALLY YOU WILL BE FACED WITH THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH: Loss of information, Frustration, etc. etc. MS should be compensating all it's customers who bought it's non-functioning operating system. A class action, maybe ...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

As I suspected, nothing I'm interested in or can't get off the web.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Taking your suggestion half-seriously (the "if they sold completely assembled computers" half), who would provide service under warranty? MS or the original hardware vendor? If people show up with a troublesome box they purchased at the store, do / will they have the facilities to fix it? Most vendors already claim you violate the warranty if you replace the pre-installed OS (usually Windows). I suspect the warranty question is why they wouldn't sell components. That, and the inability to assure the component would be compatible with your hardware, not just with your version of Windows.

neldeeb
neldeeb

So said the Apple which landed itself in a basket full of rotten oranges, and so, its time to go ... Must go visit the nearest Apple Store, full of intelligent folks enjoying Apple products :) You guys enjoy your haunted Microsh.. Stores. Byyeee ...

john3347
john3347

Between the two, I would expect that you are incubating monkeys. Let me know when the circus comes to Chattanooga. I did not predict Microsoft coming down from outer space, I was just suggesting - "what if"! (smiley goes here)

sdunnin
sdunnin

still funny. I would love to have a BSOD plush doll!

rowdydave
rowdydave

Much like wine, there are many flavors of computing devices on the market. Like wine, most are pretty good, and some really stink. Buy what you like, not what some critic thinks is "the best" or "the worst." Why does this have to be so contentious? And neldeeb@..., why so militant? My gosh, there are much more important things in life to fight about. If you really want to fight, join the armed forces somewhere and make it count for something other than a lame opinion. I suppose, since I singled you out, you'll be attacking me next? But, wait, I haven't expressed a preference for OS or hardware. I'm not in your fight. I'm just calling you out for being a little too invested in your argument.

waterhzrd
waterhzrd

I don't know when the last time you used a PC with Windows on it, but BSOD's are an old, outdated, and very tired argument. I've had a Dell with XPSP3 on it running without a reinstall since I bought it in 2005 and I've never had a BSOD on it, ever. My workplace uses Dell's with XP on them, and even in that environment, I don't deal with BSOD's. I love how anti-MS people take the BSOD path when that's rarely, if ever an issue anymore (except for those who want to use hacked drivers and bios flashes, or download "questionable" material from even more questionable websites).

chip_long
chip_long

I think it is funny, the amount of complaints about the BSoD. I test software as a third party tester. I test on everything from XP to Win7, Mac OS X 4-6. To be honest, I can lock up the Mac just as often as I can the PC. I occasionally get a BSoD on XP, but I haven't seen one in ages from Vista or Win 7. Win 7, and to an extent Vista, can detect the crashed program and notify me with a way to kill the process that is a problem without having to reboot my machine. Mac, I don't get that. I have to wait on the beach ball and determine through other means that the program has crashed, then have the knowledge to find that program?s process ID (PID) and kill it - or do a hard reboot - which can cause me to lose data as well. Arguments about a computer crashing are invalid IMO. Every computer has the potential to have a program crash. That being said... I agree that most of the time I have a crash on a PC, that I can?t relate to a specific issue in the software I am testing, is a driver problem. Apple does not suffer these because they only let the users use a limited amount hardware types so they can control the drivers. However, if as daryl_b pointed out, the MS Store sold good solid machines that have the hardware components integrated properly with each other, then the chances of driver problems would decrease.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I haven't seen a BSOD in a few years, and never on a Vista or W7 system. The class action suggestion has been shot down as legally impossible multiple times; most software (not just MS) is sold 'as is'. Considered switching to decaf?

rogerbro
rogerbro

Blue Screen of Death? No way! I have not had one of those since leaving Windows 98, with the exception of a few when running Beta versions of Windows 7. It never happened with Vista and never with the released version of Windows 7.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Apple's advantage is a relatively smaller number of products. Unless MS limited it's system inventory to one or two manufacturers and product lines, they'd need a wide variety of spare components.

john3347
john3347

Of course the tone of my last post was about as serious as incubating monkeys, but it could happen - the selling, and installation, of components and completely assembled computers. It would be assumed that since a Microsoft store sold the product, they would also service it. This service would be free (included in purchase price) during the warranty period, then very costly, but equally available, after the warranty period had expired. Just as with current mass market manufacturers, the component manufacturer would, in turn, compensate Microsoft for any defective components serviced under the component warranty period. I have no suspicions/predictions either way on this question, but if Microsoft decides to do something like this, I would predict it to be quite successful. Microsoft may be absolutely at the bottom of the barrel on software developer talent (and now on corporate leadership), but they have perhaps the smartest marketing and legal departments of any corporation in the world. edited to add "software" to developer in the last sentence

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

down the LOL aisle right next to the LMAO and ROLF's

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

and I am a Material Girl." . . . . . I'm so sorry; I don't know what came over me. I apologize for that inappropriate outburst, and assure you I am quite over that brief moment of foolishness. "When the working day is done..."

DNSB
DNSB

Around here, BSODs are not as common as they once were but neither are they gone if not forgotten. Reminds me of a columnist (noted for sporting a Windows logo as a tattoo) who stated that he never had any problems with Windows until the next version came out. As for blaming BSODs on third party software, drivers, whatever else comes to mind? I've seen BSODs on systems that had only Microsoft software and WHQL approved drivers installed. You only have to check the history of operating systems to realize that it is possible to write operating systems that are much better protected from driver and software flaws. Heck, even Windows NT was better protected before it was decided to reduce security and stability for increased performance for video drivers.

Mark A. Lewis
Mark A. Lewis

I really wish that MS would take control of this situation somehow. BSODs are very frustrating to deal with, aren't they?

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

that most BSOD's are not related to MS products but hardware drivers that were poorly written by hardware developers? I agree with that. The problem is not Microsoft itself, it is the third party vendors who develop programs and or drivers that cause the majority of BSOD's.

n6xhh
n6xhh

I also do beta testing, mostly for microsoft products, when they open the testing up to Partners. I ran first release Vista and Win7 betas on a production system (fully backed up but it's not a real test unless you stress it), tested both versions of Windows Home server, and, for dessert, a couple of games. I, too, have never seen a BSOD since XP, and rarely on that. That includes my parent's systems as well :D My Niece is another story, but she was in High School and got Virus infections every other day from so-called "Social Networking". I've worked on Macs for friends, would never buy one because of the extortion charged for basically the same hardware running Windows, but would entertain the idea of purchasing MacOS as a second OS simply because I was a Unix Admin when Windows was still competing with Digital Research's GEM as a GUI. MacOS would join my library, where I also have several versions of Linux and Solaris 10. I find it absolutely hilarious that Macs run an OS that was designed for true multi-user functionality, including the ablility to easily stop a crashed process without affecting other users, yet has been obfuscated to the point where the average user has to reboot the machine. At the same time, Windows, while still remaining single user by nature, has steadily become more "Unix-like" in terms of requiring fewer and fewer reboots with every version.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

And Apple doesn't sell it's software 'as is'? Check the licenses, dude. Do you think the Microsoft products for the Apple platform are any better or worse than their Windows counterparts? Incidentally, repeatedly misspelling a company's name in an attempt doesn't help anyone's position.

neldeeb
neldeeb

consider why Microsh.. Sells its products "as is" food for thought :)

Slayer_
Slayer_

Was playing dragon age and BAM. Was video drivers fault, the BSOD even said so. No big deal, quick update of drivers and the gaming marathon continued :D

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