Microsoft Store Overhauled to Encourage More Windows Shopping
Microsoft’s first brick-and-mortar retail store isn’t scheduled to open for another few hours, but the software giant is already selling PC hardware and third-party software titles–on the Web. This morning it unveiled an expanded online store that will better reflect its new real-world counterpart.
“On the new online Microsoft Store, we’ve added a bunch of new products, including Windows 7 PCs as well as select 3rd party software and accessories,” Trevin Chow, senior lead program manager for Microsoft Store, said in a blog post announcing the move. “And let’s not forget a ton of gaming products that have been added including a bunch of the top selling Xbox 360 titles.”
Interesting. Not exactly sure what the upside is to selling PCs online when you don’t make them. It’s not like Microsoft (MSFT) will be offering a better experience than, say, Best Buy (BBY), HP (HPQ) or Dell (DELL). And an online outlet doesn’t afford the company the same opportunity to cultivate the “Microsoft Experience” it’s clearly going for in its brick-and-mortar outlets. So why bother?
A unified experience online and off, I suppose. And, if the infrastructure is in place to sell through one channel, why not sell through both? Of course, the downside is that if you don’t execute well, you risk giving customers another lousy experience with which to associate your products.