While Apple’s Christmas ad brought Stevie Wonder and Andra Day together this year for a warm performance of ‘Someday at Christmas’, Microsoft decided to take to the cold streets of New York City this year for their holiday commercial … right in front of the iconic 5th Avenue Apple Store. Taking a rather cheeky approach to celebrating the season while naming the competition, Microsoft Store employees from a nearby location traveled down the block to sing ‘Peace on Earth’ to “some old friends” decked in red shirts … Apple Store employees. expand full story
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Microsoft has confirmed its rumored plan to open what it describes as its “first flagship store” on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, a few blocks away from Apple’s glass-cubed flagship store, reports the WSJ.
“As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience,” said David Porter, corporate vice president for Microsoft retail stores. “This is a goal we’ve had since day one—we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it.”
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Former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail (then ousted JCPenney CEO) Ron Johnson made a somewhat rare public-facing appearance on Andreessen Horowitz’s podcast. The discussion comes in at just under half an hour and features the former head of Apple Retail discussing his experience with leading the Apple Store as well as the challenge for up-and-coming startup brands to afford brick-and-mortar retail channels, but more interesting from an Apple perspective is Johnson’s praise for Microsoft’s retail stores and the Surface 3 tablet that the company heavily markets against Apple’s MacBook Air.
“I think the Microsoft stores have succeeded much more than popular opinion. […] I think it’s really helped, for instance, the Surface 3. It’s a really great product and we all know that. Everyone who has tried a Surface 3 is pretty blown away with the software, the interaction, how it can be a tablet and a computer, its part of the future. Without those stores that Surface 3 wouldn’t be where it is today.”
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