Microsoft plans to open its own retail stores, hires Dreamworks exec

Microsoft plans to open its own US retail stores to "transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience."

Microsoft plans to open its own retail stores in the US to "transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience," the company said Wednesday as it hired an executive to run the retail operation.

The stores will help Microsoft engage more deeply with consumers and learn firsthand about what they want to buy and how, according to a Microsoft press release. Deciding where the stores will be located and what they'll look like will be the first order of business for David Porter, who will report to work on Monday as corporate vice president of Retail Stores.

Microsoft has long been perceived as lagging behind rival Apple in appealing directly to consumers, and Apple has a head start of several years in running a chain of stores. While Microsoft makes its own Xbox game terminals, Zune media players and some other devices, it doesn't have a branded PC product of its own like Apple's Macintosh.

In December, Apple neared 10 percent of personal computer sales while Windows lost a full percentage point of share for the second month in a row.

With the retail strategy, Microsoft said it hopes to articulate and demonstrate its innovation and value proposition. It will pass on lessons it learns from the stores to its retail and OEM (original equipment maker) partners.

The move comes as the company gears up for the release of the Windows 7 PC operating system as well as new releases of Windows Mobile and of the Windows Live online portal. It follows changes Microsoft has made to its marketing efforts as the Windows Vista operating system took on a negative image.

Porter has been head of worldwide product distribution for Dreamworks Animation SKG since 2007, but before that, he spent 25 years at Wal-Mart Stores. His last position there was vice president and general merchandise manager of entertainment.

Microsoft has already had at least one retail store. In 1999, it opened a large store on the second floor of Sony's Metreon entertainment and shopping complex in downtown San Francisco. Among other things, visitors to the store could try out Windows CE-based handhelds and buy Microsoft apparel, souvenirs and shrink-wrapped software. The shop closed several years later, as did most of the other non-Sony-related businesses in the complex.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?