Sometimes it seems that Apple and other companies can’t produce products or services that Microsoft won’t try to imitate. Take the recent reports about plans to create a “Microsoft Store,” in a lame effort to duplicate the success of The Apple Store.
Now instead of hiring someone familiar with the sophisticated inner-workings of a retail chain that will provide a superior user experience, they select someone who had spent 25 years working for Wal-Mart.
Now despite Wal-Mart’s undeniable success as the number one retailer in the U.S., you can hardly call the shopping experience elegant. Serviceable, yes. Efficient, too, I suppose. But I would hardly call their marketing strategy adequate to provide a comfortable environment where Microsoft users can hang out and buy the cutting-edge gear they crave.
I’d think that if Microsoft’s erratic CEO, Steve Ballmer, would maybe spend a few days hanging out at an Apple Store, taking notes, and digital photos, he’d learn a lot more about the buying experience than what he might discover from someone who cut his retail teeth at a discount chain.
But that’s just me.
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