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Charles Erick Twitter: @ewmpsi Complex trading strategies, instruments and platforms don’t guarantee great returns, keep it simple; if it doesn’t make dollars it doesn’t make sense! Gulf Coast
  • Best Buy Microsoft Stores Q&A 28 comments
    Jul 14, 2013 4:19 PM | about stocks: NOK, MSFT, BBY

    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.

    *********************************

    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.

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Comments (28)
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  • Abu Bakr Hussain
    , contributor
    Comments (595) | Send Message
     
    thanks for posting this ewmpsi, very interesting.
    14 Jul 2013, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » @ Abu

     

    Thanks for dropping by, I hope to post a new round of questions and answers soon.
    14 Jul 2013, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (7431) | Send Message
     
    That does not sound as if Microsoft is making mobile a focus at ailing Best Buy, whereas Samsung probably will.

     

    See also http://bit.ly/1ams44M and http://onforb.es/1ams2Ke
    14 Jul 2013, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It will be interesting to see if Samsung (who has a hot brand) will out-draw Microsoft (who clearly does not have a hot brand). Essentially it's Microsoft's "World Fair" (in some stores 1200sqf floor space approach) vs. Samsung’s "Bistro" (kiosk) approach.
    14 Jul 2013, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • wrscomncents
    , contributor
    Comments (643) | Send Message
     
    I saw a Samsung ad the other night while watching a ball game. The ad featured a woman who went to a Samsung store at Best Buy to purchase a phone, a computer and a tablet. The gist of the ad was buy and connect all your items with Samsung. I have to say it was a very well done and compelling ad. I hope we will see the same thing coming from Microsoft soon.
    15 Jul 2013, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » MS leaves a great deal to be desired in advertising; that would also make for a good question, when can we expect to see ads?
    15 Jul 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • Abu Bakr Hussain
    , contributor
    Comments (595) | Send Message
     
    Ewmpsi - Microsoft has improved a lot. Historically its adverts were terrible. The Windows 7 launch campaign in particular was utterly cringe worthy.
    Look at this: http://bit.ly/10YYD6f
    and just remind yourself.. this realllllllly happened...
    Samsung do deliver great campaigns, but they also have (probably) the biggest ad account in the world, that buys a lot of talent.
    16 Jul 2013, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (7431) | Send Message
     
    Samsung actually owns one of the largest agencies. Samsung is vertically, horizontally and diagonally integrated to the max : )

     

    That vid is abominable.
    16 Jul 2013, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Very true!
    16 Jul 2013, 08:20 PM Reply Like
  • La Rue
    , contributor
    Comments (637) | Send Message
     
    Thanks ewmpsi for your DD. Looking forward to September.
    14 Jul 2013, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • Seppo Sahrakorpi
    , contributor
    Comments (1844) | Send Message
     
    Good stuff @ewmpsi

     

    Follow up questions:

     

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

     

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

     

    3) Does Nokia collaborate w/ Microsoft in any way in setting up, and running, and e.g. training staff for Microsoft Stores?
    14 Jul 2013, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I really love all 3 or those questions, thank you!
    14 Jul 2013, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • Charles Santerre
    , contributor
    Comments (1242) | Send Message
     
    Seppo, I only saw your post after I posted mine. Great minds think alike! ;-)
    14 Jul 2013, 09:43 PM Reply Like
  • Charles Santerre
    , contributor
    Comments (1242) | Send Message
     
    Charles: good initiative on your part! I would like to know what level of training clerks will receive regarding Windows Phone specifically. It seems absurd, but since these people are not engineers or other form of experts, it's fair to wonder if they will be trained enough to show prospective buyers the advantages of WP and be able to respond with regards to missing apps and functions in the OS. Or will they just be generally trained for MSFT products being sold.
    14 Jul 2013, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Points well taken, I'll be sure to have very specific question about training.
    14 Jul 2013, 09:22 PM Reply Like
  • emuster
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, that statement indeed doesn't sound as if WP is considered very important by MS ("...accessories and related products..."). That's hard to imagine though since their future "ecosystem" would lack one of the most important building blocks without WP and MS isn't that unrealistic. Maybe we shouldn't interpret too much into the statement.
    15 Jul 2013, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I'll be re-submitting that question (from a different angle) for a clarified answer.
    15 Jul 2013, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (7431) | Send Message
     
    If anything, it tells you that Microsoft is not focused.
    15 Jul 2013, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • GAlan
    , contributor
    Comments (205) | Send Message
     
    Ewmpsi, Thanks for asking Msft these questions. Have been wondering how fast Msft would implement this strategy. Also , I second the ?'s of Seppo and Charles on the windows phone training.
    15 Jul 2013, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • toraji
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    Good initiative ewmpsi.....

     

    Looking forward to round 2 :-)
    20 Jul 2013, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Let me know if you come up with any new questions, or have questions about the latest Q&A, thank!
    31 Jul 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • toraji
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    I have one :o)

     

    the phones offered in the bestbuy stores and online at MS (the 1020 is not att special in 3 months) are they simlock free? Meaning you can use them on every carrier?

     

    great initiative ewm keep going please
    1 Aug 2013, 01:10 AM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I never got an answer on that one, but by it is unlikely to be relevant to you anymore :-)
    4 Dec 2013, 09:08 PM Reply Like
  • toraji
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    Hi ewmpsi,
    No it's not, I got the 1520 about a week ago fro Microsoft store and bought a prepaid ATT sim card until the sim unlock codes are available, Love his phone by the way, first I found it way to big compared to my 925 so I was not sure if I could get used to this GREATness ;-), well, I have to tell you that even though I carry both of them with me the past week I mostly use the 1520, I ony use the 925 for my work calls (this tmobile contact is my work's) so whenever I get the unlock code the 1520 will be my daily driver and my 925 will get another happy boss.

     

    Love the 1520, camera is AWESOME, very fast OS and the screen looks fantastic and its funny to see people's faces in elevators, subways or just walking on the street. My red 1520 does get a lot of attention.

     

    Regards
    t
    5 Dec 2013, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The 1520 is the one I'm leaning toward, thanks for info, I'll get one soon!
    5 Dec 2013, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • toraji
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    if you buy it straight out (like I did without contract) buy it from Microsoft), I paid 549 and at ATT it was 749 and you are only allowed to buy it if you have a contract with att.

     

    I am absolutely very impressed with this phone but you have to keep in mind it is REALLY big :-)

     

    go for it ewm, I am sure you like it... btw installed mint today (all my accounts in one app), the WP8 store is getting there man

     

    regards
    t
    5 Dec 2013, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I'm going to try mint, thanks
    5 Dec 2013, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Update:
    Microsoft: A Strategic Partnership Pays Off
    Sales of Microsoft’s Surface 32GB topped the list of items sold at Best Buy on Black Friday, according to iPad Insight.
    http://onforb.es/1gFmPk3
    4 Dec 2013, 09:08 PM Reply Like
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