Microsoft retail

It’s true, Microsoft will soon open retail stores. I have previously commented on this matter, citing it as probably “the worst idea in retail for the next decade,” and scratching my head at the notion of a 33,000 sq. ft. location in Brooklyn. But as much as I’m sure Microsoft suffers from my sniping, it seems they are indeed going ahead with those plans.

Microsoft has long flirted with the idea of doing its own store, even as it has tested ways that retail partners can better sell Microsoft products. In a 20,000-square-foot warehouse near its campus in the suburbs of Seattle, Microsoft has tested various retail concepts, complete with shelves displaying Xbox games and big computer monitors with touch-sensitive screens.

That’s according to a Wall St. Journal article detailing how Mr. Softie is gearing up for retail warfare with rival Apple. Don’t be surprised if you see the two stores set up on the same street, or even next door to one another.

The trouble now is for Microsoft to stop their retail stores from becoming another Best Buy/Circuit City/Wal-Mart, while still offering a variety of products. Creating a narrow-focused shop might not make enough money (half the people enter will leave empty-handed because they didn’t find what they need), but a sell-everything computer store will suffer the same fate as big box stores like CompUSA, which closed during this most recent economic downturn.

Are you excited for the Microsoft Store? What do you expect to be available?