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Microsoft Stores Are Permanently Closing (microsoft.com)
13 points by hongzi 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 2 comments

Seems like a big mistake for them. The closest I ever got to buying a Surface was when I visited a Microsoft store and actually held one and played with it. I ended up getting n iPad instead (which I also spent a long time using in the Apple store). Even if these purchases happen online, I think using these physical stores as showrooms increases sales, even if those sales end up being online.

I guess it’s fair to say the cost of the physical stores is too high for the value they deliver, but I suspect they don’t really know how many extra indirect sales or how much more customer loyalty is generated by the physical locations.

I agree, although I found another good option is to buy it from Costco and use it for a couple months and really get a feel for it and then return it. I’ve done that with several Surface Pro devices, which has allowed me to appreciate how they’ve improved over the years, but also made it clear that they are not yet ready to replace a real laptop for me. Little things like the annoying lack of a “monitor off but computer still active” state that I might not have realized by just playing around with it in a store. Of course Costco doesn’t have a great selection of all the different models, so it’s not necessarily a great alternative depending on your interest. But you can usually find some store with a good return policy of at least 14 days.

A potential area where the Microsoft stores could’ve been great as if the employees were actually knowledgeable and could have answered questions. But I found them to be completely ignorant of anything other than very high-level basics. Several times they told me things that were flat out wrong. It was always more effective to just Google a question than to ask a store employee.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Microsoft stores in malls, killing time, since there’s nothing much else for me to do when I’m dragged to a mall. Frankly that is the saddest aspect about this announcement. With Radio Shack gone and most GameStops gone, the Apple store will now be the only non-clothing store in malls.

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