Microsoft is running with the "if you build it they will come" theme, by opening up 600 mini-stores within Best Buy shops to get people interested in new Windows products and the Xbox One console. On the way, it can't help but have a dig at Apple's iPad in its latest advert.
Coming to A Store Within A Store Near You
While Apple celebrates its ever-growing army of stores, with a small chunk of its WWDC keynote dedicated to the churches of iOS and OS X, Microsoft is still playing catch-up, and will take an easier route to market for the upcoming Windows 8.1 line-up of products, and its big consumer event of the year, the Xbox One console.
By opening dedicated spaces within Best Buy, Microsoft won't be left looking lonely as some of its flagship stores have done due to lack of footfall. Shop workers should also be able to offer a more bespoke service to customers and dictate the extra marketing materials and Microsoft goodies that it can cram into the space.
Of course, these new mini-stores (just 1,500 to 2,000 square feet or so) will have to compete with other brand-themed areas within Best Buy, Samsung recently had a drive to highlight its own products and Apple also has its own special sections. That said, Xbox offers something neither of those two can compete with and its hard not to imagine sales staff trying to shift a new family laptop alongside the millions of consoles that will ship over the holidays.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Helps Dell Fight iPad
While they hammer in the dividers and put up the posters for these stores, Microsoft continues the Windows 8 marketing campaign, this time with the Dell XPS tablet as poster child. In a new online advert, it compares this against the iPad with the voice of Siri again being used against Apple.
Apple fans will probably ask is poking the iPad with an SD card memory stick and multitasking the best Microsoft can do? And if Apple were so inclined, it could easily fire back with massive app stores numbers and other strengths. But that $200 price gap could be something that might stir consumers to think about their tablet choice.
This follows on from recent Nokia Windows Phone adverts taking on the iPhone and shows Microsoft isn't shy about mixing it up with rivals. Expect more of these kinds of activities as Windows 8.1 launches and the drive to upgrade users from Windows XP and Vista really kicks in.