As you may have read already today, Microsoft intends to launch retail stores which strikes me as a serious challenge. Unlike Apple which has had great success with their retail strategy, Microsoft relies far too much on their external ecosystem to tell their whole story.
Microsoft has a solid story around connected entertainment with Xbox, Zune and MCE and Apple still regards this area as a hobby with AppleTV. This is a small piece of what they will most likely (my guess) be looking to sell though and I wonder how highlighted OEM partners will be selected to display on the PC side. Given the existing channels in which Microsoft products are sold, Iâ€™m wondering whether a store in a store concept might not actually be a better play here.
Microsoft will definitely have a lot to contend with on the consumer experience side as their system is still quite a bit more complex to setup and manage. It should be an interesting year for retail â€¦. Apple is apparently also retooling their stores to offer more a differentiated experience via the Mac solution.