Last week my wife and I were in Arizona. We stayed at a Marriott in the Phoenix area and used it as a base to visit the desert, have plenty of desserts, visit the Frank Lloyd Wright facility at Taliesin, etc. The week went fast. I won’t write a travel log but I did want to mention one thing — the Windows Store in Scottsdale.
For those of you who don’t know, Microsoft has been observing the success that Apple has been having with the Apple Store. Success is an understatement. As a result of the Apple Store, as well as building a superior product, Apple is richer than most of the countries of the world. So, Microsoft decided to do the same thing — open their own stores.
Anyway, when visiting Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale, a Phoenix suburb, we came upon a Microsoft store. My curiosity got the best of me. For any of you who have been in an Apple Store, the interior of the Microsoft store looks like a clone with more colors. As you know, the Apple store is decorated in industrial aluminum to match their computers. The Microsoft store has more colors and, in general, is not quite so harsh. There are lots of tables with lots of computers — all running the latest Microsoft software. At the back of the store is the “Genius Bar”, where, I suppose you can talk to a mental giant who will tell you anything you want to know about the Microsoft software.
There were a couple of discordant notes. First of all, it was the middle of the day in a very upscale mall in Scottsdale, and the store was nearly empty. I’ve never been in an “almost empty” Apple store! Never! Second of all, when you are in an Apple store and start to play around with the “toys” they absolutely ooze quality. There is no question about it, the Apple laptops seem like they are strong enough to use as hammers.
Now, Microsoft, as you know, does not make their own computers. They have to depend on Dell, HP, Sony, etc. I don’t intend to name names but the computers that I played with in the Microsoft store seemed like absolute junk in comparison to what I played with in the Apple store. I wonder how much that will hurt Microsoft. I think that it will hurt quite a bit. I am forgiving because I understand that Microsoft is not in the hardware business (yes, I know that they make keyboards and mice, but that hardly counts). I can see most people walking into the Microsoft store and quickly drawing some comparisons — with Microsoft coming out second best.