By Harry McCracken | Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 7:45 am
Does America need hundreds of Microsoft Stores coast to coast? According to The Busness Insider’s Matt Rosoff, Steve Ballmer thinks so.
I think the Microsoft stores are a waste. I've been to one, and yea it was kinda neat but didn't really offer anything that you can't get at Best Buy. If anything, to me it was a big reminder of "Redmond, get your photocopiers ready!" It looks and feels very much like an Apple store. But anyway, been to the Microsoft store once but don't see much need to go back.
The Apple store on the other hand… I remember 10 years ago when you could buy an Imac in the big brick and mortar retailers such Best Buy and Circuit City, it was a hit or miss (more likely miss) experience. Apple stuff got very second class treatment in places like those, since a lot of the store employees didn't know much about them. Frequently it was in the back corner of the building and a lot of the time when you did have a question about an Imac for instance, the answer you'd get was "This pc over here is a much better deal…" so really Apple had to make their own stores out of necessity to better showcase their products.
With the popularity of Apple stuff now, they could probably go back to selling their stuff at Best Buy now (I know some stores carry Macs, not all though) and be fine. They've got a good thing going now though, and the big box stores (and their customers) can be fickle.
I'm a pc guy mostly, but I'll shop at an Apple store first if I need anything Apple. The experience and service is worth it for me. Microsoft stuff though, get it wherever it's cheapest.