Microsoft desperately trying to lure more customers to its empty stores


Microsoft may be headed for a smackdown in Manhattan. The maker of all devices PC is reportedly laying ground for a retail outlet just six blocks from Apple's Fifth Avenue store, one of the most photographed landmarks in New York. And a glistening cube that rakes in more than the sparklers at nearby Tiffany & Co.

If Redmond had only taken note from what happens in Oregon: here's our totally unabashedly unscientific pictorial take on Apple and Microsoft stores in downtown Portland. 

All photos: Nicole Martinelli/Cult of Mac
The retail battle front isn't exactly balanced.
Photo: Nicole Martinelli/Cult of Mac

Whether it’s DJs using MacBook Pros at their openings or shots of them looking emptier than a Killian Bell surprise birthday party, Microsoft Stores have long been a bit of a punchline compared to the crazy success of Apple’s own brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

But a new report underlines just how poorly Microsoft Stores are doing as they finally crawl past the 100 store milestone — but without being able to attract a significant number of customers along the way.

Inside Microsoft’s Fifth Ave store that looks just like an Apple Store


Microsoft's Fifth Ave store is open for business.
Microsoft's Fifth Ave store is open for business.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft officially opened its flagship store on NYC’s historic Fifth Avenue today just blocks away from Apple’s iconic glass cube, and it’s taken a few pages from the iPhone-maker’s playbook in the process.

The doors to Microsoft’s new store opened just in time for the release of the new Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, but Microsoft says it’s totally cool if Apple fans bring in their devices too.

“If you bring your iPhone in here, I’d love to show you how to use Office on it,” said Kelly Soligon, senior director of retail stores marketing at Microsoft. There are signs of Apple’s influence throughout the store through, from the giant glass facade to the glass staircase.

Take a look inside:

Microsoft copies Apple with Fifth Avenue flagship retail store


Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Microsoft has copied (or “been inspired by”) many, many Apple innovations over the years, and now it’s set to copy the location of its most famous Apple Store of all.

That’s right: the Windows maker is set to open up shop with a retail store just blocks from Apple’s iconic Fifth Avenue glass cube. The new “flagship” Microsoft Store will move into a location previously occupied by Fendi.

“This is a goal we’ve had since day one — we were only waiting for the right location,” Microsoft’s corporate vice president for retail stores said in a statement. “And now we have it.”

The Difference Between The Apple Store And Microsoft Store On Black Friday [Video]



Were you crazy enough to brave the murderous masses of people looking for deals on Black Friday this year? If you stopped by the Apple Store to get a cheaper MacBook or something, you probably noticed that the Apple Stores were even more crowded than usual. But then if you went over to a Microsoft Store it looked like just a normal day.

Here’s a video that compares the amount of people visiting the Microsoft Store and the Apple Store. Surprise, Apple won on Black Friday.

Surprise! There’s Apple-Like Lines For Microsoft’s New Tablet



I had a great idea this morning. I figured I’d head to the Microsoft Store in Scottsdale around 10am, waltz in, buy a Microsoft Surface, and then be out in 10 minutes. I assumed the store would be empty. I mean, come on, this is a Microsoft tablet we’re talking about, and who goes to the Microsoft Store anyway?

I was completely wrong. Microsoft’s new tablet, the Surface RT, may not do everything an iPad can, but it’s drawing some pretty big lines to Microsoft retail stores across the country for its launch this morning.

Microsoft Bribes Mac-Loving Jonas Brother To Shill For Their New Tysons Corner Retail Location



Could it get any sadder? Ten years late, Microsoft is finally set to open its sad sack retail store later today at Tysons Corner, pretty much directly across from the original Apple Store that started it all way back in 2001. Needless to say, the world’s pretty much yawning at the news, and so Microsoft is trying anything to get people to attend the grand opening. I’m not sure what’s sadder, though: the fact that they hired a Jonas Brother to draw in crowds, or the fact that the Jonas Brother they hired, Joe Jonas, is both a Mac user and a former entertainment act for Apple, famously drawing scores of screaming teens to the SoHo Apple Store in 2008.

Bellevue Microsoft Store To Literally Exist In More Popular Apple Store’s Shadow



It looks like Microsoft’s plan to beat Apple in the retail space by building their own Microsoft Stores right across from mall-based Apple Stores is paying off: Microsoft’s successfully chased Apple out of its space in the Bellevue, Washington shopping mall.

It’s something of a pyrrhic victory, though. Apple’s just moving to the second floor of the mall to a larger retail space. Directly overhead, overlooking Microsoft’s store, where it will literally be living in Apple’s shadow. If there was ever a time to LOL, this is it.

Microsoft Store Under Construction Directly Across From Mall Of America Apple Store



Back in the flower of my youth, I took a job at the local mall working as a minimum-wage cashier at a discount clothing outlet permeated with the distinct smell of moth balls. It was awful. My boss had a greasy pencil moustache and a lazy eye and was overly complimentary about the softness of my hands; my only customers were antique, gum-sucking grannies buying pre-soiled brassieres and underpants by the carriage full.

Meanwhile, across the way, my friend Josh had landed himself a job in a posh clothing boutique aimed largely at girls in their late teens and early twenties. It being summer, there seemed always to be a bikini sale going on, and I can’t even count the hours I spent watching him through the greasy yellow plate glass of my work store window, encouraging the buxom and spritely clientele — freshly emerged from the changing rooms in some impossibly flosslike two-piece to show off to their friends — to take a bounce on the complimentary trampolines that had been installed around the show floor. It was enough to make an undersexed teenage boy spill a vein in sheer impotent jealousy.

This memory came flooding back to me when I first saw the picture above of the Mall of America’s new Microsoft Store, which is currently under construction directly across from the Apple Store.