Microsoft Sweats Merchandising Details for Windows 8
According to the headlines, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is betting the tech giant’s future on Windows 8. Whether that is true or not is open for debate, but a Wall Street Journal report makes clear that Microsoft is playing a more active role than ever before in the retail merchandising of the operating software.
Microsoft is looking to control the messaging of the new product at retail and to do that, is opening more of its own locations, including 34 pop-up shops this week.
In terms of the retail work to sell Windows 8, Microsoft along with Intel, have helped to train hundreds of thousands of retail store associates. Windows 8 is said to be a dramatic departure from previous versions. The company also recently introduced the Surface tablet, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iPad.
"In many ways, this is a new era for Microsoft," Mr. Ballmer told USA Today. "We are enabling whole new experiences for work and play."
At Best Buy and others selling Windows PCs, displays include emails, photos and contacts for a fictional woman named Allison Brown to make the experience more personal. Microsoft, according to CMOG Chris Capossela, moved from displaying computers by screen size to groupings by how consumers use the devices such as gaming. Best Buy is grouping devices by price.
"There may be more angst for customers because of the lack of familiarity," Jason Bonfig, Best Buy’s vice president for computing, told the Journal. "Our staff is there to coach them through it."
- Ballmer bets the company on Windows 8 – USA Today
- Ballmer defends Microsoft’s latest big bet – USA Today
- Microsoft Dives Into the Retail Scene – The Wall Street Journal
Do you agree or disagree with the notion that somehow Microsoft has bet the farm on Windows 8? Is the company taking the right steps at retail to make sure Windows 8 — and to a lesser degree, its Surface tablet — achieve success?