back to article Microsoft to open Windows Stores inside 600 Best Buy locations

Not content with operating 68 dedicated retail stores, Microsoft has partnered with consumer electronics retailer Best Buy to open store-within-a-store outlets at more than 600 Best Buy and Future Shop locations in North America. "It's something that has to be seen to be believed," said Microsoft chief marketeer Chris …


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  1. LarsG

    They should open them next door to the £ Pound shop.

    Might sell more Surfaces if they were stocked in the £ shop.

  2. Franklin

    ""It's something that has to be seen to be believed," said Microsoft chief marketeer Chris Capossela."

    I bet that's true, though perhaps not in the way he intends...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I'll believe that this draws customers when I see it!

      1. Flywheel

        Re: @Franklin

        Maybe they'll put it next to the Apple equivalent, then punters can choose the right product.

    2. solidsoup

      Store within a store

      I just hope that no-one gets an idea to shop on Windows Store website from within Windows Store. One more level and they will be stuck in limbo with Microsoft products indefinitely. It's hard to imagine a more cruel fate.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He's referring to the vacant BB lots with 'for rent' signs....or maybe in a few months time to all the cobwebs ...

    4. Captain Scarlet


      My first thought on the picture was they have just copied the Apple Store (With those stupid big tables and lack of devices).

      I really think they should get their own ideas for how to layout their stores.

  3. Bob Vistakin
    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh


      Ironically I find those "Keep calm and" posters infuriatingly annoying.

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: Meh


      2. Eponymous Cow Turd Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        "Ironically I find those "Keep calm and" posters infuriatingly annoying."


  4. Tom 35

    If it's like the current booth at the Eatons Center...

    Microsoft will provide training for an additional 1,200 salespeople to staff the stores; their jobs will be to make sure kids* don't write "Microsoft blows dead bears" on the the Surface and Laptop screens, and occasionally give directions to people looking for an iPhone.

    * of all ages.

  5. Fehu

    Jumping the shark

    Quick! Get Balmer a leather jacket!!!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Training - oh yeah.

    "Microsoft will provide training for an additional 1,200 salespeople..."

    And BestBuy will provide training on how to sell $60 Monster USB cables and ridiculously priced extended warranties to go with that shiny new Microsoft thingy.

    Just one more reason to never visit WorstBuy.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Training - oh yeah.

      Didn't Microsoft already nail that by selling $20 add-on keyboards for $129...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, because I associate quality with Best Buy

    This is a good idea of Microsoft, because I really associate quality goods and knowledgeable salespeople with Best Buy, and use that association to guide my shopping habits.

    Specifically, I have a negative association of quality goods and and knowledgeable salespeople with WorstBest Buy - I know they have crap goods and stupid salespeople there, and that guides me away from Best Buy.

    Thus, I feel Microsoft and Best Buy are 2 peas in a pod.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes, because I associate quality with Best Buy

      Just like FutureShop and Rogers in Canada. Microsoft have found their niche at last -- dummies.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Yes, because I associate quality with Best Buy

        Dummies are not a niche.

    2. Tom 35

      Re: Yes, because I associate quality with Best Buy

      It could be worse...

      Future Shop is were Best Buy sells stuff that's too crappy to sell in Best Buy, and dumps last years left over stock from Best Buy US. And they still have the "you need this $90 monster cable set for your $26 DVD player" scam going.

  8. Herby

    What will they wear?

    Will you see the sales droids wear? They might as well wear the proper Red shirts so we know who in the away team isn't coming back to the mother ship!

    I would have labeled this with the proper "Joke Alert", but maybe it isn't one!

    Remember: Apple stores are known to have the highest sales volume per unit area of any retail store in the USA!

    Oh, and don't forget: Ask: "Can I have this WITHOUT Windows installed?"

    1. Wade Burchette

      Re: What will they wear?

      I'm going to ask if I can buy a computer with Windows 7. And when the inevitably say no, I will then ask "why not?"

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  10. Annihilator

    Thank goodness

    Finally, they'll overcome that nightmare scenario that exists where all the Windows PCs on sale are mixed up with all the Linux PCs.

    PC World will start to feel a bit foolish soon when that ... oh wait ... that's pretty much how Best Buy and PC World are laid out now. Never mind.

  11. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Backtrack much?

    Seem to remember a few years back Ballmer was slating Apple for opening retail stores. Something along the lines that they had no retail experience, it was a different world and they would bankrupt themselves. Basically parroting Paul Goldstein et al who said the same thing back in 2001. In 2011 Ballmer was still saying shop-in-shop was for mugs and Microsoft's strategy was selling through channels; a blatant sop to the partners.

    On the one hand it's good to know he's not afraid to change his mind when circumstances warrant, on the other hand it would be nice if he picked a winning strategy and stuck to it every once in a while.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Backtrack much?

      Well, the solution is simple for him. Whatever path he decides to go, he should then pick another route. It couldn't be any worse than his current method.

      1. Goat Jam

        Re: Backtrack much?

        Rememember when George Costanza decided to change his life by listening to his instincts . . . . . . and then doing the exact opposite!

        It worked for him, and I suggest it could work for Ballmer too.

    2. kb

      Re: Backtrack much?

      Look up "Apple store versus Windows Store" if you want a good laugh, somebody filmed in front of both right after the surface launch and what did he see? that the Apple store was packed, the Windows Store? Ghost Town.

      At the end of the day he is slapping a paint job on a pinto and sticking a porsche price tag on it and its just not gonna work, it has about as much chance of working as Walmart jacking its prices 5000% and saying they will now compete with macy's, the demographic that buys Apple wouldn't have windows if you paid them and the ones buying windows won't pay Apple prices for it, so who does it leave? Well i think the sales figures shows who is left, nobody.

      1. NeilMc

        Re: Backtrack much?

        Agreed, Apple know how to market to maximum effect Microsoft clearly have no clue at all.

        However I have to disagree on a couple of points; I use MS for work and productivity apps and Apple for mobile devices and entertainment. So I think the decision on what to buy and from where is a little more complex.

        But yes, no one in their right mind is going to be fooled by this market move. First they have to fix Windows 8 or junk it and start again. However as a sign of their poor marketing capability; launching a touch screen based OS when touch screens have not reached the appropriate tipping point was a big mistake.

        Perhaps they missed a trick in cutting a deal with major hardware manufacturer to launch a bundled solution rather than go it alone with the Surface when they have such a poor track record in hardware development...................

        Perhaps Ballmer should stick to speccing and ordering Super Yachts.................Doh!!!!

    3. Wade Burchette

      Re: Backtrack much?

      I don't think this is backtracking. I think this is desperation. Despite what Microsoft tells us and despite what some Windows 8 zealots tell us, Windows 8 is as popular as rug burn. The people who rail against it are the vocal majority. I helped a friend order a HP laptop with Windows 7 on it and the HP salesperson on the phone stated that due to demand it would be 2 weeks before the laptop would even ship. I think Microsoft wants to put people in stores and try to convince people how much "better" and "easier" Windows 8. But if you have to convince me something is better or easier, then it is not otherwise I would noticed that right away.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    shop like a Boss

    Best Buy can be a wonderful source of bargain kit - provided - you are able to deliver the stare of death to the sales-numpty who is tasked with sticking a vacuum into your pocket and sucking until all they get is lint.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought BestBuy stores were MS stores.

  14. tempemeaty

    Perfect match


  15. izntmac

    Apple did this once.

    Apple in the 1990s had their "store within a store" in I believe it was CompUsa stories. This is one of the times in the past when this was done. Maybe not a bad idea for Microsoft but it will not significantly increase sales. Many people look in Best Buy and shop online. Good chance to try the products though.

  16. Captain DaFt

    " their jobs will be to provide demos and help customers understand how to work with Microsoft products – er, that is, "to let them see how Microsoft technology can enhance their lives."

    I can just picture how this gem of an idea was born:

    Ballmer (Holding chair): "I'm sick to death of all the screeching about how Win 8 is unintuitive and hard to use, DO SOMETHING!!"

    Underling(Choosing his words carefully): "Well... we could put people in the stores to show the customers how, er, easy, dynamic, and intuitive Win8 really is.. "

    Ballmer: "You ninny, our customers already love the features we've put in Win 8!"

    Underling: "I uh, meant the people that are supposed to er, actually buy and use the system, not the media corps."

    Ballmer: "... The who? That's marketings job isn't it? Go down and see what they can do with your idea. Take the handbasket, it's faster."

    1. lightknight


      I seem to remember that it used to be someone's job to ensure MS products were recommended (when they fit) and properly overseen so that the 'experience' was a good one...could it have been IT during the late '90s/ early '00s? Oh, but IT took a bath with repeated outsourcings and so on...and despite all this, still had enough strength left to tell MS that Windows 8 was not going to fly.

      See, it doesn't matter how awesome your sales guy is -> Sharepoint won't administrate itself. Which means you're either going to have one (or several guys) who know nothing, giving the company a bad image, or they do know which point, "free tech support."

      Still, putting people inside Best Or rather, ouch.

  17. DAN*tastik

    Typo, or Freudian slip?

    "... at, which will mirror the in-store experience...".

    I can see shoppers who accidentally end up in the Microsoft area sobbing and trying to bury those Windows 8 laptops :)

  18. IGnatius T Foobar

    Not much changes.

    So ... whereas before, Best Buy was a crappy store where annoying salespeople would showcase broken Microsoft products, now, Best Buy will be a crappy store where annoying salespeople will showcase broken Microsoft products with official store branding.

    Yeah, whatever.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fortunately BestBuy left the UK

    a while ago. Glad we're saved this "experience"

  20. GrumpyWorld

    If only they had something worth selling...

    ...perhaps they could try an Android version of the Surface?

  21. Zola

    Apple calls their staff "Geniuses"

    And since Microsoft apes Apple (just badly), what will the Microsoft staff be called? Something equally pretentious and ridiculous no doubt, but whereas Apple is able to brazenly carry it off, I just don't think Microsoft will manage it.

    And surely the only thing to ask a Microsoft staffer in a Microsoft store is the directions to the nearest Apple store. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple calls their staff "Geniuses"

      You could possibly check into one of the 68 existing Microsoft stores and ask them. I think they're called "sales people".

      Carry it off? Have you ever walked into an Apple store and been astounded by their sales assistants level of "genius"?

      AC because I'm an AC.

  22. Nameless Faceless Computer User
    Thumb Up

    Quality of life

    yup, Microsoft Windows has enriched my life.

    (I fix problems with Microsoft Windows for a living)

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Quality of life

      Really FIX them? Or just work out how to steer the lusers around the rocks?

      1. XenonXZ

        Re: Quality of life

        The latter...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "help customers understand how to work with Microsoft products"

    Please please open one in the CIty as I'll be down there trying to get free advice on making this week's version of server/exchange/whatever actually work

    1. PeterM42

      Re: "help customers understand how to work with Microsoft products"

      Yes, they need to find a way to show customers HOW to use Win8, because intuitive it ain't, especially after the excellent (well fairly good) Windows 7

  24. Mark Dowling

    Logical extension of BestBuy's current business track

    Judging by the way their website is going (baby beds? cosmetics?) it looks like BB wants to be a general department store now, and lots of those have embedded branded stores.

  25. plrndl

    They obviously haven't thought this one through. Try before you buy for W8?


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      At least then they'll have had 5 minutes more exposure to Win 8 that the bulk of the haters out there.

  26. deadlockvictim

    The formula worked well with Zune

    How could it fail with retailing?,2357/

  27. Howard Hanek

    Spread the Failure?

    When your two newest flagship products are failures AND overpriced you have no choice but to go to direct sales.

  28. MissingSecurity

    So a company who's losing market share has partnered with a company who's losing market share, by putting a store within larger store.

    I think my company makes some stupid decisions, but man, a day in the life of these guys must be like working in different reality.

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