Microsoft is apparently debating how quickly it should open retail stores.
According to sources close to Redmond, both CEO Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner are quite keen on the idea of inaugurating additional MS shops to rival Apple’s presence.
Currently, Apple boasts a cool 300 stores whereas Microsoft only has a paltry 8 stores.
Some analysts attribute Cupertino’s success to the prevalence of its Apple Stores, where consumers can test out and play with products before purchasing.
Microsoft is hoping to replicate this business model as part of a new retail initiative.
The company built eight stores during the past two years and plans to open two more in the near future.
However, some detractors within Microsoft have expressed concern over the cost of such stores, which are quite expensive to construct and really don’t bring in that much revenue.
In addition, Microsoft products can be found in stores across the nation like Best Buy and WalMart for around the same prices as in company stores. As such, there is no real reason for consumers to venture out to their local Microsoft Store when a major retailer with the same products may be closer and more familiar.
Expenditures could also cause investors to halt backing for additional Microsoft stores, as many are already disheartened with the company’s high spending rate on datacenters and its financial losses in the search market against Google.
All of these factors may prevent Ballmer from opening additional stores in the near future. Of course, there is always the chance the stores could start making money – at which point the idea would likely be revisited.
(Via Business Insider)