Do you like shopping at a store while at a store? Microsoft thinks you might with its latest announcement of a Windows Store coming to Best Buy.
Microsoft announced today that a Windows Store experience will be coming to 500 Best Buy locations across the U.S. and more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shops in Canada. In short, the Best Buy Windows Store will be "the premier destination for consumers to see, try, compare and purchase of range of products and accessories, including Windows tablets and PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft Office, Xbox and more."
Microsoft even made a video for the announcement to show just how excited they are about this new partnership:
Now, the Windows Store at Best Buy doesn't mean that Microsoft is abandoning its own retail efforts. Microsoft's Chris Capossela says that Microsoft Stores remain important to the company, but the Windows Store experience at Best Buy is all about hooking consumers up with the best Windows devices at the number one PC retailer in the country.
By far, however, the most interesting thing about these new Windows Stores is just how big they are. Capossela says that the Windows Stores will take up to 2,200 square feet in stores so it will almost feel like you're in an entirely different store. Best Buy is also hiring an additional 1,200 employees around the country to focus exclusively on selling Windows products.
Microsoft's partnership with Best Buy doesn't end at the Windows Store either. Capossela says that "we will have a great Windows tablet inside the Best Buy tablet department, Windows Phones in their Phone Department, and lots of space for Xbox in their gaming and Home Theater Departments." The online version of the Windows Store will also receive a major upgrade to mirror the resources being put into the retail experience.
Of course, all of this begs the question - will it work? Windows PCs and tablets aren't exactly in vogue at the moment. I hardly think that increasing their presence at an increasingly irrelevant retail outlet is going to do them any favors either.
At this point, Microsoft needs to double down on its Windows 8.1 strategy. It's pointless to sell Windows 8 devices to consumers wanting a more traditional Windows computing experience right now. WIth the release of Windows 8.1 later this year, Microsoft will be able to advertise the return of the Start Button and other requested features. In short, the Best Buy Windows Store strategy would be best for a soft relaunch of Windows 8.
Regardless, the Windows Store at Best Buy will be coming to a retail store near you starting this July. The rollout will finish at some point in September. If you want a preview of the new Windows Store experience, check out the Best Buy Web site.