Quoted – Microsoft Opens First Retail Store – Brandweek

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Microsoft has jumped into the retail arena and opened its first store in Scottsdale, Ariz., featuring interactive technology and a sleek modern design. This is the first of several planned stores for the software giant, the next opening on Oct. 29 in Mission Viejo, Calif., and is being celebrated by the company as an opportunity to connect with customers and elevate the Microsoft brand. But some analysts see this move into retail, and even the design of the stores, as derivative of archrival Apple.

Microsoft is emphasizing the personalization that the new stores will offer, with consumers able to customize their hardware with external “skins” and create an original ring tone for their Windows mobile phone. When a customer purchases a computer, they will have a 15-minute session with one of the employees to get set up their applications, passwords and personal preferences. The store includes a Microsoft Answers Suite, where technical advisors offer assistance to patrons with tech issues.

“The idea of customizing a product on a mass scale, there’s a branding experience about that and there’s a connection with the customer—all that stuff is usually good,” said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College. But Testa supports Frankel’s outlook on Microsoft’s originality as a brand: “Microsoft copies everything from Apple, so why wouldn’t they copy their stores?”

Testa believes that in opening stores when it has, Microsoft followed the company pattern of waiting until something was “tried and true” before jumping in. Nonetheless, he believes that entering the retail arena will be a good thing for Microsoft, and that it is better late than never.

“I don’t think they see it as a big profit driver. I think they see it as a brand-building experience and marketing experience more than anything. This will be a grain of sand on the whole beach of Microsoft’s revenues and operations,” said Testa. “But from a branding perspective it makes a lot of sense. The timing’s good, they get some press for the stores, Windows 7 is coming out and the holiday season is coming up. It makes sense.”


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Quoted – E-Commerce Times – Intel’s Stronger Outlook Fuels Tech-Sector Cheer

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The enthusiasm over Intel and Dell is justified, said Scott Testa, a professor of business at Cabrini College.

“The economy is getting better, and there is pent-up demand that is just starting to be released,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Back to school demand is generating a boost, he said, and “when Windows 7 is released, it will help the PC industry a lot as well.”

Indeed, the PC market in general appears poised for a sharp recovery, with executive maneuvers foreshadowing offensives on several fronts.


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Quoted – Windows 7 and the Enterprise – ECommerce News

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Quoted – Windows 7 and the Enterprise – ECommerce News

Windows 7 Likely to Get Chilly Reception at Enterprise Door

Microsoft has a higher mountain to climb to soften up enterprises on Windows 7 adoption that it did a few years ago. After the Vista train wreck, many are content to keep on getting by with Windows XP — at least, until their IT departments become convinced that the new OS will live up to its promise.

Unless they are high-tech firms themselves, companies tend to have conservative IT strategies, Philadelphia-based marketing Grow Your Business-Fast! Sign up for a FREE trial of Infusionsoft and double your sales in 12 months. consultant Scott Testa told the E-Commerce Times. “Usually, they like to wait a little while to make sure the kinks have been worked out — and then start adopting it.”

At the very least, he said, most companies will want to wait for the first service pack.

Microsoft suffered a black eye with the Vista rollout, he noted, which exacerbated those conservative tendencies.

Furthermore, “XP still fills the needs for most organizations,” said Testa.


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Quoted – Android a threat to Windows

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Windows 7 Starter Breaks Away From App Restrictions

Looming competition from Android will go far to keep prices in line, predicted Scott Testa, marketing professor at St. Joseph’s University.

“Android is getting a lot of buzz in the netbook market — Microsoft sees it as a threat,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Also, Microsoft got a lot of backlash when it first unveiled its watered down version of Windows 7, noted Testa, and it may be leery of antagonizing any user base.

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