Closed Windows: Microsoft Closing All Retail Stores

More bad news for Microsoft on Friday, they announced they are closing ALL Microsoft Store physical locations across the globe.

I don’t mean to pick on Microsoft, but they’ve had a lot of bad news lately. I was a long time Windows fan, until I couldn’t take Windows long time reliability problems any more – as I explained in Broken Windows: Microsoft Keeps Making More Bugs Than Useful Features. I am still a big fan of Azure though. And I do wish that Microsoft could keep their stores open, if only to give Apple a little competition.

A source with knowledge of Microsoft’s retail operations told The Verge that this plan was originally in place for next year, but was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is launching this holiday, so it makes sense that the company had at least initially planned for the stores to make it that far.

The Verge – Microsoft to permanently close all of its retail stores

Microsoft Failed to Compete with Apple Stores

Over the years I would make it a point to check out the Microsoft Store, whenever I went to the mall. Every time I went, the Apple Store was packed and the Microsoft Store was never close. Much too often there were more Microsoft employees in the store than there were customers.

I live in San Jose, CA, which is only about 6 miles from Apple Park. In the Westfield Valley Fair mall near here, there’s a Microsoft Store only 1 store over, and across from the Apple Store. They could throw stones at each other with just a light toss.

I’d like to check out the latest Windows PC laptops and they were almost always embarrassingly bad compared to MacBooks. The Apple Store was there first, so Microsoft chose to put it’s store right next to Apple’s. Bad idea, because the comparisons were just sad for Microsoft.

Microsoft did the same thing in Palo Alto at the really nice outdoor mall, the Stanford Shopping Center. There too Microsoft put it’s store in the same mall right near an existing Apple Store. Until Apple moved to a much bigger store in that same mall in 2013. Before the move the Apple Store was smaller than Microsoft’s, but after the new Apple Store was bigger. I went there a few times, and each time the crowds at Apple were way bigger than Microsoft’s.

Will Microsoft Fire People ?

The company tells The Verge that no layoffs will result from today’s decision.

The Verge – Microsoft to permanently close all of its retail stores

Our team members will continue to serve consumer, small business, education, and enterprise customers, focused on sales, training and support. They will work from Microsoft corporate offices and remotely. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this diverse talent pool is stronger than ever.

Microsoft Store VP David Porter said in a LinkedIn post

Wanna bet that Microsoft will be firing former retail people, and Porter will leave ? Some of the replies to Porter’s LinkedIn post were not positive.

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