Microsoft Store Fails at Ripping Off Apple

The video above is a glimpse into the new Microsoft Store, Microsoft’s attempt at trying to out-do Apple. It’s only a minute long but I think it gives plenty of insight into these new spaces. In the beginning of the video you see a kiosk through the window with 14 different versions of Windows, which makes me giggle some. After that there’s the cheering mob of cheering people, who we can guess are Microsoft Store employees. This whole parade just sort of reeks of trying to hard, I can’t imagine anyone but a 10 year old (and there are 10 year olds in the video) getting a kick out of such a welcome.

Looking around the store you see the floor to ceiling glass in the front, a la Apple, but really that’s all the Apple-ness I see. On every inch of wall there are displays which seem to display a landscape (maybe?) but then shifts color. I can’t imagine that being a good way to sell computers, distracting people from looking at the products by some Las Vegas-style visuals. The wood in the space is about 14 different colors, so there’s really no consistency there. It looks like the might be selling luggage in there as well.

It also looks like they’re selling about a thousand things in there, which if you look at an Apple store, is about the exact opposite thing you can do. Apple stores are easy because they have a limited number of products for you to try and there’s no nonsense. I cant imagine walking into this store and trying to figure out all the differences between so many computers. I also didn’t see any Zunes which is kind of weird, but I probably just missed them.

I think they’ve totally missed the mark on what a modern technology store is. More than anything this reminds me of a Sony Style store, which is just a ton of random products all thrown together. Yes, people still shop there, but I doubt it’s anything like the business Apple is doing.

This is another post where if you want to comment, please be constructive about it. Yes I know I’m ragging on this store, but I’ve given plenty of reasons why I think it’s crap. If you don’t then I’ll delete it, easy peasy. Thanks for understanding.


22 Comments Microsoft Store Fails at Ripping Off Apple

  1. Russ Morris October 22, 2009 at 8:50 PM

    I’ve been using personal computers since 1989. I have two Macs at home.

    At my place of work, I use both Mac and PC computers. I guess I have a balanced perspective.

    Microsoft isn’t Apple, no. And Apple shouldn’t feel threatened. Flattered, yes.

    I’m sure MS paid a tidy sum to some external design firm to make their stores all purrrdy and enticing, paid top dollar for extensive market research, focus groups, all that stuff. Good for them. That’s the cool thing about capitalism, sometimes ideas work out and money is made, sometimes they don’t and money is lost. MS has plenty of money to burn, so what the hell!

    If one of these stores opens here in Silicon Valley, I’ll definitely go check it out… a week or so after it opens. I find it a little difficult to form an opinion from a minute long YouTube video.

    (PS – I found you via John Nack’s blog)

  2. Thomas October 22, 2009 at 11:25 PM

    I was hoping to see a BSOD :(

  3. Kevin October 22, 2009 at 11:44 PM

    Wow, what a complete rip-off. Even their uniforms look exactly the same as Apple employees…

  4. niknikko October 23, 2009 at 3:42 AM

    wow, i’ve never seen something so ridiculous
    sellers who wanna high five the customers entering
    as we’re friends or something
    and as we’re lucky to be here

    i’m sick of this world

  5. Erin October 23, 2009 at 4:56 AM

    The welcome line is creepy. It reminds me way too much of sorority rush.

  6. rburch October 23, 2009 at 5:37 AM

    What an amazing rip-off, it’s rare to see something ripped off to such minute detail, from the tables layout to the high fives. If you weren’t careful going in there you may think your in a an apple store.

  7. rburch October 23, 2009 at 5:48 AM

    A followup on my last comment: Even though the layout is very similar, at least it looks like my local apple store from what I can tell by the video, the products aren’t the same and therefor the over all look is effected. It’s like matching a sleek store layout with a much less sleek product. It only makes it 1/2 way.

  8. frank October 23, 2009 at 5:53 AM

    i think the Vegas mention is most telling to what end they’ve aimed–dazzle the patron into a purchase regardless of that patron’s feelings about it a day later

  9. Chipotle October 23, 2009 at 7:39 AM

    i have to admit it, Microsoft and its windows really sucks. I have to use it because the software i need to do my job. I’m an architect and pretty much of the software works only with windows, but since windows vista every one whom use that platform is less and less happy with it. I hope one day, no to far away from now, any software be able to use either apple or microsoft, because that day i’ll go as fast as I can to the Apple store and buy one of those beautiful computers, which by the way, besides being amazing tools are also beautiful, almost like a piece of art. About the store, i was looking the video trying to see an apple logo on there, but no, it says Microsoft.

    P.S. I log in into the blog in order to download this weeks mixcast and what a surprise i get, it’s thursday!!! I really need the weekend right now, enough work!!!

  10. Chipotle October 23, 2009 at 7:50 AM

    Yeah, it is friday. I feel really happy right now ’cause weekend’s ahead!!!!!! I need my weekly mixcast please, i need my dope!!!!

  11. Brooke October 23, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    I hope this was filmed from an iphone. ;)

  12. Jake October 23, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    If you’re trying to mimic what someone else is doing, the most you can hope for is to be second best. I don’t see an overall philosophy driving this, merely an attempt to play catch-up.

  13. kevin October 23, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    As much as I’m an apple junkie, and I can’t help but be a little pleased with watching Microsoft fail, I almost feel bad for them at this point. They’ve gotten so desperate that they don’t even try to position themselves as an alternative to apple. Though imitation is the highest form of flattery i suppose. ha
    btw your last mixcast was amazing. keep ’em coming :)

  14. Chris October 23, 2009 at 1:15 PM

    Ha – what else can Microsoft steal from Apple. – so sad.

  15. Chris October 23, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    @ Chipotle – two words, ” Boot Camp “.

  16. felipe October 23, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    I completely understand your point
    it looks awful… nothing is better than Mac

  17. Ein October 24, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    Wow! Beautiful! Gorgeous! Stunning!
    What a positively marvelous array of shambles feigning excitement over their absurdly hideous store. Aside from dressing like lego blocks threw up on them, they have the privilege of being the team of jackasses that get to run the flagship wanna-be store.
    I am mildly surprised that the walls slathered with LCD screens weren’t displaying a the infamous blue error screen.
    With XP being the only decent thing for PCs right now, Windows is effectively eight years behind Apple in an industry where being two months behind could kill you.
    And now this. Really? What a freaking joke.
    Hey Microsoft, for the love of God hire a designer instead of letting your morbidly-obese mother-in-law do all your decorating. While you are at it, please scrap that Geo Metro you call an operating system and start at the basics. Throwing more money into the fire won’t put it out.
    I am going take a shower now to wash the stench of their desperation off of me.

  18. Matthew October 25, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    Personally I use a PC and like doing so. Windows is severely damaged by scared users running a million anti virus programs with useless toolbars clogging up interfaces.
    If windows wants to compete with Mac it should concentrate on a way of stopping people installing these terrible programs by offering it’s own working solutions, and not by pathetically copying apple outlets.

    As for the look of Windows at the moment I run it on ‘standard mode’ getting rid of all the rubbish gel/beginner photoshop tutorial orbs and going back to a nicely improved Windows 95 look.

  19. jacob October 26, 2009 at 8:56 AM

    I love that at the end of the line of colorful screaming employee-types, there are still the stereo-typical Microsoft ‘suits’… hanging out and clapping as if they are cool and hip and ‘get it’.

  20. Person Man October 26, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    True, it’s cheesy that they’re high fiving their first customers as they walk in.

    But beyond that I fail to see much of a problem here. It’s true that Apple and Sony have had company stores before Microsoft. It’s also true that Apple adopted that glass-and-metal minimalist aesthetic first. I don’t think that’s lost on anyone. I’m sure that everyone in the world will walk into a Microsoft store and compare them to Apple stores.

    In the end, originality doesn’t count for much. What matters is whether these stores are useful and fun and it’s a bit early to judge any of that.

    Today, Microsoft actually has some attractive hardware that will look good in a store like this. The Xbox 360 and the Zune HD are solid devices and I don’t blame Microsoft for wanting a venue to showcase them the way that Apple does with their products.

    Anyway. Just my two cents. I use products from both companies.

  21. dan October 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM

    it’s a sad thing to watch really. it’s such an over attempt at trying to be cool like apple, only to be greeted by a handful of suited men with silver hair at the end of the line.

    The store is designed to look like an apple store, but misses all the subtlety. Like a bad designer who has little training and no real eye for it, trying to emulate a master — elements are there, some of the same pieces are used, but it’s all mismatched, the quality is off, it’s wrong and any normal person can tell.

    Microsoft will always be at least one step behind apple if they continue to wait for apple to create something for them to mimic poorly.

  22. Kevin November 27, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    There is something really creepy about this, it just reeks of fake excitement. Almost like some of those weird scientology pep rally videos you see online. Weird, awkward, trying to hard, and basically totally fake and engineered.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *