Photo: Matt Rosoff Business Insider
Microsoft has taken a big chance by releasing its own pair of Surface tablets to compete directly with its PC partners. But one of the riskiest decisions could be to sell the tablets only through its own stores.It’s only got 20 stores open and none in highly populated cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago.
Common sense says that if people can’t touch and play with the Surface, they aren’t going to buy it.
Looks like Microsoft’s plan is to hurry up and open more stores — maybe as temporary “pop-up” locations for the holiday season, reports Adi Robertson at The Verge.
Microsoft has posted job listings for “retail product advisers” in a number of cities where it lacks a store including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Miami, Vancouver and other spots.
Microsoft already promised 11 new locations “coming soon” — this list of temporary stores differs from that. It says it will have 75 stores open in the next two years. But Microsoft really needs Windows 8 to be a success out of the gate. If Windows 8 becomes another Vista, the company will be chasing consumers into the open arms of Apple — and maybe also to Google with Android tablets.
It’s still possible that Microsoft will announce that a big retailer will carry Surface nationwide — such as a Best Buy that already carries Xbox. But that comes with an even greater risk of ticking off its PC makers who sell through the retailer, like HP and Toshiba. The holiday season is a biggie for them, too.