Microsoft Opens First Brick And Mortar Retail Store
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Microsoft is sending a big compliment to Apple. Today in addition to launching its new Windows 7 software, Microsoft is opening its first ever retail store. It's a nod to the success of Apple's retail outlets. The Microsoft store will be in a mall in Scottsdale, Arizona.
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
The company's Web site bills the design of the outlet as, quote, "uniquely Microsoft." Though The Times of London reports some suspicious similarities to Apple's stores. The British newspaper sites leaked plans that show gadgets being laid out along tables for customers to test and a Microsoft Answers Bar, just like Apple's Genius Bar, where people can ask questions or find technical support.
INSKEEP: Microsoft is also hoping to recreate the fanfare of an Apple store opening and hired pop singer Ashley Tisdale to provide musical allure, although, the real goal is to recreate the enormous profits that Apple now makes from its 270 retail outlets.