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Best Buy Microsoft Stores Q&A

|Includes:BBY, MSFT, Nokia Corporation (NOK)

Posted 7/30/2013

Below are the answers to your second round of Windows Store only at Best Buy questions.

If attribution is necessary, please attributable all responses to a Microsoft spokesperson.

As always, please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you.

1) Q. Are the Microsoft Stores planned to be permanently in BBs, or will they be discontinued e.g. after the Holiday season 2013?

a. Windows and Best Buy have entered into a multi-year partnership regarding the Windows Store only at Best Buy, so there are no plans to discontinue them after the holiday season 2013. Windows and Best Buy are committed to the success of the stores and their strategic partnership.

2) Q. Will all Microsoft Store staff be explicitly trained in WP technology?

a. To ensure the best possible customer experience, both companies are investing significantly in highly trained Best Buy blue shirts to staff the Windows Stores. In addition to the existing dedicated Microsoft specialists working today within Best Buy locations, the partnership will add more than 1,200 additional Best Buy blue shirts to create a superior customer experience at scale.

3) Q. Does Nokia collaborate w/ Microsoft in any way in setting up, and running, and e.g. training staff for Microsoft Stores?

a. We work closely with all partners, including Nokia, our PC OEM partners and others, to ensure that highly trained Best Buy blue shirts and Microsoft specialists offer knowledgeable and friendly customer service for all products.

4) Q. Most of the Windows Phone market share belongs to Nokia; will the mobile area of the stores reflect that dominance?

a. The Windows Store only at Best Buy will feature a broad suite of Microsoft and partner consumer products - including Windows Phones from Nokia. The mobile department at Best Buy will feature the latest and greatest Windows Phones available in market from many of our mobile partners, not just Nokia.

5) Q. Surface tablets seem to have been a drag on recent earnings, is there a plan to make Surface more visible and cost friendly?

a. Surface and other Microsoft tablets will have an increased presence within Best Buy's tablet department, in addition to displaying tablets and Surfaces RTs and Surface Pros in a dedicated area within the Windows Store itself.

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Ok, so here's the deal!

I was able to make contact with "a Microsoft spokesperson" who works with "the Windows Retail effort". I submitted five simple questions regarding "the Windows Stores only at Best Buy" and I received a response with answers to the questions.

The spokesperson wished to be referred to in publication only as "a Microsoft spokesperson" therefore I will not be revealing the name of the source. I've been invited to direct all of my future questions to this very helpful spokesperson so let's be nice! If anyone has any additional questions about "the Windows Stores only at Best Buy" please put them in your comments below and I'll put together a new query and see if we can get some answers.

Charles- (ewmpsi)

My name is (a Microsoft spokesperson)…

I work on the Windows Retail effort.

I was informed that you had specific questions re: the Windows Stores only at Best Buy.

Thank you for interest in the Windows Stores!

I have answered your questions below. Please feel free to attribute the responses to "a Microsoft spokesperson."

In addition, if you have any follow up questions or want more insight on the Windows Stores - please don't hesitate to ask me.

Respectfully,

(a Microsoft spokesperson)

1) How soon will the Best Buy stores for Microsoft be initiated and what areas of the country will get them first?

The first test store opened on June 13, with the official wave of stores kicking off in late June and the full rollout done by early September across 600 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Specific locations will be announced via marketing/advertising in the local markets prior to opening. We should also note that we're starting with 600 stores this year in the United States and Canada, selecting the best-selling locations for our first wave. We'll continue to innovate and grow with Best Buy going forward.

2) Will Windows Phone be a big part of the Microsoft stores in Best Buy?

The Windows Store will feature all of our Windows PCs from our manufacturing vendors including: Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba, and many more - encompassing a full range of SKUs across value and premium price categories. The shop will also feature a full line of accessories and related products (like Xbox, Office software, Windows Phones, headphones, etc.).

3) Will XB1 be displayed and demoed in the Best Buy Microsoft stores?

Xbox/Kinect will be prevalent in the ecosystem display area of the Windows Store, in addition to Xboxes/Kinects currently in the gaming section of Best Buy stores. The ecosystem section of the Windows Store sits near the back wall and will enable us to showcase how both Microsoft and partners' technologies work seamlessly together by highlighting consumer scenarios such as touch on Windows 8 PCs, connected experiences on your PC, as well as SmartGlass, SkyDrive, Xbox Music and more.

4) Will you guys use your 4K displays in the Best Buy Microsoft stores?

Not at this time, but we will be reviewing whether to include the displays at some point in the future, and we're always looking at interesting displays and ways to give our customers an immersive, interactive experience in the store.

5) Will any of the Best Buy Microsoft stores open before the holiday season in the U.S.?

Yes, the full rollout will be done by early September across 600 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Getting the Windows Stores only at Best Buy open is taking place during Back to School season, one of the most popular time of year for new computing products and computer purchases.

Disclosure: I am long NOK, MSFT.

Stocks: NOK, MSFT, BBY