Newsletter #481 Preview: About the Dumb Things Microsoft Can Do

February 15th, 2009

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.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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