Do You Have a Reservation at the Virus Bar or Are You Here for the All-Day Workshop on Printer Drivers?
Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) have long competed for market space. And soon they’ll be competing for retail space as well.
In remarks at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference today, COO Kevin Turner said Microsoft has settled on a location for the retail stores it announced earlier this year: Within spitting distance of Apple stores. “We will have some retail stores that are opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall,” he said.
There goes the neighborhood, right? Anyway…
So Microsoft is going to play McDonald’s (MCD) to Apple’s Burger King (BKC). Makes sense. Apple’s retail locations are very well chosen. Microsoft, if it’s going to go this route, would be wise to have stores there as well. As economic theorists Charles ReVelle and Harold Hotelling once observed, “The best position for a new vendor is back-to-back with the well-positioned first vendor, allowing an even split of the market. Any other position of the new vendor would have given that new entrant a smaller market share.”
And one could argue that Redmond might benefit from a retail presence that brings all its wares together in a single “shopping experience”–Windows, Xbox, Zune. All that partner hardware. Surface. Put a Project Natal booth at the back of the store to draw foot traffic and who knows what might happen?