Matthew Hudson | November 19, 2009
Microsoft has opened a store. Actually, I think this is a good idea. They are losing market share and dominace over the category. They play in lots of places that people do nto relaize connect. They just launched Windows 7 (which is really Windows Vista Service Pack 3 - I guess they learned their lesson on that) and they have some “sharing” strories they can tell.
2. Traffic – it was about 6pm and there was four or five customers in the store and probably 15-20 or more employees. I wish there had been an apple store in this mall to compare traffic at the same time of day. The employees look pretty bored.
4. Laptop displays – the laptops are displayed in groups, each table representing a different group: netbooks, think and lights, featured systems (rotates, but current a Dell Studio model), large screen and gaming systems. Each of the displays seem to have the same image, optimized by removing all of the crapware and only leaving some of the basis oem-specific programs installed. This is called “Microsoft Signature”. All of the laptops on display are supposedly in stock and available for purchase and are all Microsoft Signature optimized. They also sell extended warranties on the laptops, these are branded as Microsoft extended warranties not the OEM extended warranties.
Overall, its easy to say that the Microsoft store is a terrific represenatation of the brand. Lots of good thinking, lots of poor execution, lots of lack of integrating or playing well with others. I could go on with other observations of the store experience, but the point here is to affirm that corporate culture is real and it shows up everywhere. Knowing the Microsfot culture the way I do, this store is exactly what I expected - underwhelming and unimpressive with lots of work to figure out.