Nov 09

Running out of things to steal

At some point Microsoft had to come to grips with reality: there’s just nothing left to copy from the retail tech leader. Time to get creative. Think outside the Apple Store. Looks like they got this one a few doors down, at Johnny Rockets.

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  • I wonder what the poor customers were thinking. Here they had gone into a Microsoft store looking for a nice quiet computer – nothing fancy or pretty like Apple offers, just function and familiarity. Then, they get stuck in the middle of a bunch of wild-moving and loud-clapping Microsofties. I hope I don’t revisit this video in a nightmare.

  • A nice QUIET computer? Um, there’s nothing quiet about ANY PC’s I’ve ever used in my life… their fans roar intensely loudly. Meanwhile, Apple makes machines that are practically silent.

    Function? Macs offer more function than any other computer on the entire planet. They are the only computers that can run Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux… all on the same machine, and all without rebooting.

    Familiarity? I wonder how those customers would feel when they actually use the ORIGINAL SOURCE and INSPIRATION for their familiarity — the Mac. Not the backwards, upside-down, and very poorly copied Windows.

  • BRILLIANT! MS is just concerned about your weight gain while trolling the mall looking for the perfect PC (which they don’t make, someone else does) with too many visits to the Krispy Kreme stand, so they introduced a Pilates set…

    they’re just showing they care… let’s just hope Apple doesn’t copy them and introduce Swing Dancing. with the regular crowds at the Apple Stores (compared to those at the MS shop pictured), that’s a real disaster waiting in the wings…

  • Jorge Carvalho

    The most funy thing its that at about 2.10- 2.17 , seams that a costumer( The girl in white) dint want to pay for their products :)

  • Cory

    Jorge: too funny…. but I think that was just an advertisement flyer.

    marino a gallo: the first thing that I noticed was… Microsoft has some pretty big people working for them… but the diet angle… that’s a good one, I’m thinking that Microsoft could start copying Jenny Craig on that one.

  • Vik

    I don’t have a mac, but watching this makes me want one more.

  • Shehan

    gosh its sad how some of you just take Mr. Segalls marketing, advertising point of view just to bash on PC’s.. this has nothing to do with it!. grow up!

  • Drew Hall

    What in “marketing” hasn’t been done before? If they have a sale would you write about that too?

    Also, I know everyone loves being part of a team, winning, slapp’n five and what not, but some of y’all seem to agree with Ken just in the hopes you get a “@YourName: Good point MS does suck. Let’s be friends.” Please don’t over do it.

    That all being said…I hate when companies do this. Be it Apple, MS, Jake’s cake shack, whoever, singing has to be the most annoying marketing tactic in the world. Just look at those stupid Best Buy commercials that play nonstop during football games. The only thing it makes me want to do is beat the writer with a rusty pipe.

  • Cory

    Shehan: Maybe if Windows came up with their own original idea that didn’t suck… we could agree with you. Microsoft just missed a great opportunity here to do something BIG with Windows 7 – and they just threw it out the WINDOW (so to speak). Is there no one at Microsoft willing to take this personally and send these marketing geniuses they pay millions to back to the drawing board… or FIRE THEM ALL.

    Drew: but they copied every aspect of the Apple store… and they deny it. If the Apple store has the best model for selling these types of products… then copy it… but I don’t think Apple and Microsoft are selling the same types of products here… I think Microsoft is too stupid to realize that fact and they need to tweak their model to be successful. Apple has a cult like following, Microsoft doesn’t… to build a store catered to servicing a cult like following… it’s just plain egotistical of Microsoft and it will fail.

    The problem with the PC market is this… they’ve discounted their brand and image… they are now considered a low-end product and people won’t spend good money on them and because of this fact, they have laser thin margins. (it’s going to be hard to make money… and even harder reversing this trend). The same thing has happened in the cell phone industry… only Apple and Blackberry have any reasonable margins.

    Microsoft… you can’t market you “low-end” perceived merchandise the same way that another company markets their high-end merchandise… people won’t pay for it… they won’t pay for the service. It would be better for them to copy the Wal-Mart model. It’s like Kia copying the BMW strategy for selling cars… if your customers may concern is price… then you must meet that concern… you can’t rise the service and price and expect them to just forget their underlying and original concern.

  • MS has missed the point for the entire year with their advertising, starting with the abysmal ‘Jerry and Bill Go On The Road’ and ending up with this, some 6 or 7 campaigns later, and this si the 2nd campaign for Windows 7. maybe the blame should be placed at the feet of the agency, Crispin Porter Bogusky, but they take their marching orders from from Redmond.

    MS simply doesn’t understand their target, it is that easy to pinpoint. margins, profit, versions, goals for the future, etc, are all marketing equations to be factored internally. Apple does a very good job of that, as does Sony and a few others.

    they make sure you don’t see the innovation coming until it’s on the shelves (for the most part). MS just seems to be throwing as much stuff out there with little regard for continuity, can anyone explain the leaps from Bill and Jerry’s Fabulous Adventure to ‘I’m a PC’ to cute little Kylie making pictures to laptop hunters to this?

    their messaging is as fragmented as their understanding of what they are. they don’t make PC’s, they make what happens INSIDE the PC happen, for almost every PC in the world. so what’s in the MS stores? boxes of software and a few keyboards and mice?

  • Zune, anyone?

  • ken segall

    You’re making me a little schizo here. First you slam me for picking on Microsoft, then you say you also hate it when companies do this kind of stuff. (Loved the “rusty pipe” bit in particular.)

    I haven’t hidden the fact that I have no great love for Microsoft — but I don’t criticize them for just anything. They have to deserve it. I won’t ask you to sit through the video again, but from memory I suspect you’ll agree: they sure deserve it here.

    By the way, I’m not looking for everyone to agree with me. Based on some of the recent comments, I probably don’t need to worry about that. As long as we all have different priorities — budgets, choices, control, software, compatibility, whatever — there will always be PCs and Macs.

  • Harry Day

    So I go into the store looking for help and for 4+ minutes no one can help me because they are doing a stupid dance!

    I guess Microsoft didn’t notice that most restaurants have stopped doing this because customers want good service more than a song and dance.

    Jeez, if you are going to steal something at least steal something that works.

  • Drew Hall

    @Cory: I agree that MS is clearly copying the Apple store. That doesn’t bother me as much as the singing though!

    @Ken: To having two points in my comment;

    1) I’m just not a fan of topics presented in a way that the all the Mac superusers can run in and high-five to. It waters down your blog in my opinion. I would rather you take the edgy stance and…I know this would feel weird…point out what MS is actually doing right (Yikes!) That would make for good reading. Bashing MS is like betting on the sun to come up tomorrow…its easy and you always win.

    2) I really think MS messed this one up though. The singing (which you know my feelings about already haha) is so brutal and fake.

    And you don’t have to worry about people constantly agreeing with you…I know we couldn’t possibly be that much alike! Didn’t mean to make you schizo with the original thought by the way.

  • Cory

    At least Apple is not paying Ken for blogging… speaking about Astroturfing:


    Shame on Microsoft for making up this guys little story.

  • Cory

    I said this before… walk into any college or university and you’ll see Macs far out number PCs… that’s the future… and today, Microsoft executives got questions about just that at their shareholder’s meeting.

    Here’s a quote:

    One shareholder told Ballmer that he believes Microsoft has a poor reputation compared with Apple among younger computer users, and particularly college students. “I’m just wondering why your marketing group can’t do something to try to rein in this next generation, because you’ve got a real bad image out there,” the shareholder said, saying that Apple’s ads make the Redmond company look “like a buffoon.”
    “There’s certainly always opportunities for improvement,” acknowledging that there “is a group of people with whom our market share is less.”

    source: http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/the-tech-observer/2009/11/19/microsoft-annual-meeting-unleashes-wave-of-questions-about-apple/

  • If I hadn’t seen it on your site Ken, I never would believe that they actually did this. Did you see the customer’s reactions? This fell flat on its face.

  • Shiki C

    This is hilarious in so many ways!

    Firstly, full disclosure, I’m a Jamaican Mac user – so yeah I had a good laugh.

    1. As a Jamaican, raised in our music industry, I can’t help but laugh that they are doing the Electric Slide (song by Marcia Griffiths in the early ’90’s) in ANY store at all!
    2. No one looks happy to be doing it! The staff look like they are mocking the very idea of being forced into this.
    3. Really? 4 whole minutes of ignoring your customers? I think I would have walked out, either for being ignored or for thinking they drank the kool-aid.

    This is just tweetable to all my PC friends, good thing they all run Linux too :)

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