back to article Apple-apeing Microsoft spins out retail store prototype

An insight into what Microsoft’s new Apple store might look like “leaked” onto the interwebs late last week. Gizmodo posted some screenshots of Microsoft’s retail store plans on Friday. The software giant later confirmed the designs were genuine. Design and brand consultant firm Lippicott worked from prototypes and concepts …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As long as they don't try to sell me a laptop "superdrive" for £200+ or three year old software at the same price as when released.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Apple stores? *shudder*

    I own a Mac, love it, best machine and O/S I've ever owned, work in IT and I've been using computers since I was 7 with a Dragon 32, so I'm not a complete muppet whose not used computers much before.

    I have to say I hate Apple stores with a passion, especially the "genius bar!. My missus dragged me into an Apple store the other day, *shudder*! The oppo's who work there are just so "matey", it made my skin crawl! The urge to scream, "Get away from you parasite metro-sexual freaks! You! Yes you! Get your hair cut sonny! No mate, despite owning one of these I don't think Steve Jobs is the saviour of IT, he's a business man not a bloody tech guru on a par with some mystic, far-eastern diety, OK?!"

    Like I say, I still enjoy using my Mac!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    a nerd bar..

    Excellent.. so there won't be any women then...

    This will be the common style of attendee.

    Maybe they could flog nerd kits at the door..


  4. Anonymous Coward

    Not copying Apple

    No not at all. Never.

    Answer/Window/Guru Bar. Not at all like Apple's Genius Bar. Just like Gadgets weren't a copy of Widgets, etc., etc. Maybe I could take my Mac in and ask them why the one Windows application that I care about won't run on Win7 in a VirtualBox guest. I'm sure they'll know how to fix it.

    I for one welcome our Epic Failing Microsoft Store Overloards.

    I suppose if I could be bothered to figure out how to get multiple icons, I'd add the Troll Alert too, and Bill-with-horns, and Steverino-with-halo. Oh, and the coat too. Yes, mine's the one with the Mac Tablet prototype in the pocket.


  5. Anonymous Coward

    <jaw drops to floor>

    A complete rip-off of the Apple Store.

    What a surprise.

    Just doing something similar to somebody else isn't an issue - there's a limit to what you can do with some things - but this is such a blatent copy, it's just embarrassing.

    This is going be a fail, but the fact they have purposely set up next to Apple Stores make the chances of an epic fail even higher.

    This should be very entertaining.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    To be fair, didn't MS use to have their own outlet stores a while back? (as in I have no idea how many there were or where they were, but I seem to remember that they existed). Companies opening up stores to sell their products doesn't exactly sound like the pilfering of business ideas and secrets.. I think there is prior art.

    Oh, and Guru bar is the name that O2 has for their Iphone (+'other' phones) helpcounter in O2 stores.

  7. Alexis Vallance

    Birthday parties

    I can only summise that anyone who wants a birthday party at a Microsoft store would either have no friends, or would lose them pretty quickly with the suggestion.

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  9. Tim Hale 1
    Thumb Down


    How much would you have to hate someone to throw them a party at the Microsoft store?!

  10. David Simpson 1
    Thumb Down

    Balmer + Imagination = Complete human being.

    Why copy an already laughable concept, the genius bar always makes me laugh especially when you see the kind of mouth breathers that work there.

    Why oh why must Microsoft copy everything Apple does, I see their aim trying to out discount Apple and take the fight too them but maybe highlighting the whole ridiculous Apple religion fandom would give all us Windows users something to snigger at.

  11. Bilgepipe

    Can't Wait... see all the beige trim and Zunes, and perhaps have a play with Microsoft Project. Then I can move to the nearby Apple store and buy some quality products.

  12. Kerberos

    How about..

    Start Bar?

  13. AchimR


    Shouldn't the Gizmodo link rather read

    "Take a leak inside the microsoft store..."?

  14. Richard Cartledge

    Oh noes

    The Apple Store is an excellent retail concept and appears very successful judging by the busy tills. I like the way that Genius Bar staff are separate from the sales staff, as it's really bad when you go to a shop to buy something and you can't because some nerds are talking to the staff. You get this a lot in Jessop Photo and Richer Sound Audio.

    Also, the Apple Stores always seem crammed with Macbook-using totty.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Should really be called the Taskbar!

  16. Colin MacLean


    The thing with the Genius Bar is that you'll be taking some Apple-branded hardware/software in for examination. If it's a genuine issue, the Genius is entitled to go backstore and get you a replacement or at least perform some repair on the spot or by sending your hardware away.

    How will this work at the Microsoft Store when you take your Dell, IBM, homebrew etc. PC setup in? Are they going to say "nothing wrong with your software, contact the hardware manfucaturer"?

    What a great help!

  17. Ian Ferguson

    Ooh I can't wait!

    I have sooo many questions for the help desk. Just imagine.... "this laptop keeps crashing... fix it please. Now. While I wait. And explain to my elderly father how to set up networking."

  18. Anonymous Coward

    should be called

    the fail bar - cos thats what its going to be...

    i wonder if they will offer free wifi for my iPhone

  19. SlabMan

    Look and feel issues

    Punters will fail at the first hurdle - navigating the Shut menu to Open the door. They'll have to content themselves with remotely accessing the store's interior via the patented Aero-look transparent windows.

  20. Rob Davis

    ""Get away from you parasite metro-sexual freaks! You! Yes you!"

    "Get away from you parasite metro-sexual freaks! You! Yes you!"

    How I laughed like a drain when I read this. Thankyou! You cheered me up no end.

  21. B 9

    @AC at 14:09 GMT

    The only thing I'll enjoy more than going to an Apple Store is going to the MS one next door and using my iPhone as a walk around. Your suggestion of asking them for free WiFi access for your iPhone is icing on the cake. I can't wait to do that and see the look on their face.

  22. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    The focus on Surface is interesting.

    It pretty much fits in with my view that Microsoft and Apple aren't actually competing directly. Surface is no use to most consumers—Apple's market—but has some applications in the corporate sector.

    The proposed layout is typical Microsoft: They're a technology-centric company, with a strong track record in catering to developer rather than the end user. Corporate buyers like this as the larger companies do like their customised software. (Every corporation likes to believe it's "unique" in some way, even when it isn't.)

    Microsoft has always been about the driving, not the car itself (Linux), or just getting from A to B as painlessly as possible (Apple). Between the three of them, we have the full gamut of technology: those who care only about the destination; those who care mainly about the journey itself, and, finally, those who are interested in how you're going to make that journey in the first place.

    If you want Apple to open their stuff up, so you can assemble your perfect component system, stick with Microsoft. If you want Microsoft to expose their technologies for you to tinker around and play with, stick with Linux. If you just want to get stuff done and don't much care how the magic works, stick with Apple. None of these attitudes is "right" or "wrong". They're just "different". Deal with it.

  23. richard 69

    the 2nd Anonymous Coward

    i totally agree, love my macs but the store is a scary place, they try too hard to be nice and chummy.

    the wireless payment system is worrying too, "i'll just take your card sir and slip it into my chunky necklace - fancy an organic orange juice later?" - sod off!

  24. Wibble

    Balmer's away with the fairies on this one

    Balmer's sadly mistaken if he thinks that this will raise the profile of Microsoft: Apple = purveyors of prestige high-end hardware, Microsoft = manufacturer of commodity mass-market low end software**.

    They'll need security guards akin to a daytime telly chatshow to throw people out of the shop when they come in shouting "I bought this PC from xxxxx. It's running your software and it doesn't work...."

    ** Sure, MS do professional software, but that's not the aim of a publicly accessible shop.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I have seen Hell

    It's a Microsoft store.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    LAN parties, that is. BYOB. Everyone has a Mac, or at least a Linux box.

    I'd call them Window Bars, because that sounds so restrictive and uninviting.

  27. mrweekender

    Man I wish I had Ballmers job..

    .. and could spend my day fucking things up on an epic scale time after time and still get paid a gazillion dollars a year. Guru Bars, Guru Bars, Guru Bars, Guru Bars - fuck off Steve!

  28. Charles Manning

    re Surface

    The whole point of surface is to mesmerize so that you don't realise how shit the stuff they're actually selling you is.

    I wonder whether they will offer free Zune carrying beige totty to help liven up the parties. I can see the party room now.... Big screen with Ballmer shouting: party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party,party, party, party.

  29. Medium Dave

    How 'bout "Fu Bar"?

    OK, ok. I'm going.

  30. Andy ORourke

    Am I the only one......

    Who read:

    “As we previously announced, we are on track to open retail stores this Fall.”


    “As we previously announced, we are on track to open retail stores that FAIL.”

  31. John Blagden

    Sumbuddy 'avin a larff?

    Look at picture 6 on the Gizmodo article, and then at the bottom row and the guy in the black t-shirt on the right.

    That is all...........

  32. Dan 78


    I thought MS was moving towards renting all their software online. Sure they've got a few bits of hardware. But you can buy an Xbox in a lot of high street stores. And the rest of their stuff isn't anywhere near as popular as the 360, in terms of market share.

    As for the Apple rip off comments. Fair enough. But lets be fair. There were similar stores (granted multi format) out 20 years ago. Jobs and co didn't invent the wheel. They just polished it.

  33. Cy STarkman

    Oh yeah...

    So I went and looked at the pictures.

    It looks like a really noisy place, with all these wall long screens pumping out video non-stop.

    I am really puzzled at the personalisation area where you can buy stickers for your laptop, oh yeah imagine the stickers, mmm, stickers, stuck down, peeling back a bit, getting hair and dirt stuck to them... should look real hot.

    and yeah, how does the Task Bar provide service for all the things that might be wrong with innumerable brands and white boxes. I also find it curious that the person with the busted computer in their hand standing in line waiting will be checking their email to figure out how many people are in the line in front of them; that all hasn't been thought right through.

    Playing with Surface would be fun for 5-10 minutes

    Attending a birthday party would not

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