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Microsoft to copy Apple Genius strategy

updated 03:40 pm EDT, Fri September 5, 2008

Microsoft Guru Strategy

Microsoft on Friday said that its $300 million marketing campaign will now involve in-store representatives to promote the brand, the company's general manager of corporate communications, Tom Pilla, says. Effectively mimicking Apple's Geniuses as well as their floor specialists, Microsoft will run a trial later this year that sees 155 trained experts in Windows, nicknamed Microsoft Gurus, answering questions at larger retail chains such as Best Buy and Circuit City.

The Gurus will answer both general questions about computers and giving their own demos of different Microsoft programs and services working in tandem, including Windows Vista as well as Windows Mobile-based smartphones and Windows Live web features. Like their Apple counterparts, the Windows-focused agents won't be paid by commission and will instead focus on their ability to help whichever customers they receive.

Repairs and other technical support won't be part of the new program.

Microsoft plans for the new workers to be in place by the end of 2008 but hasn't said when the program would expand if successful; it has already been running a very small trial of 25 employees since October of last year.

The move comes just as holiday shopping is about to begin and as part of a larger concerted effort to regain control of Vista's image, which Microsoft says was partly tarnished by Apple's "Get a Mac" ads as well as by a premature release of the new Windows version that saw slow performance and bugs discourage many potential buyers. Microsoft claims to have solved these issues with updates over the past several months.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. devospice

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000

    +17

    activate sarcasm detector

    Microsoft copying Apple?! Nawww, couldn't be! They're such an innovative company!

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +4

    doesn't sound like

    the Apple Genius Bar, sounds more like glorified marketing reps.

    The Gurus will answer both general questions about computers and giving their own demos of different Microsoft programs and services working in tandem, including Windows Vista as well as Windows Mobile-based smartphones and Windows Live web features.... Repairs and other technical support won't be part of the new program.

    That's not very much like Apple Genius Bar, where you actually do get some technical support and help resolving issues.

    Besides, even Microsoft could not afford to staff a Genius Bar, they would get so many people coming in every day complaining about BSOD and the computer they bought six months ago being slow as s*** etc.

    And, Best Buy I am sure makes some change charging PC owners to fix their Piece of c***. Can't have Microsoft drones helping them for free, can we?

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +6

    What a joke

    Hmmmmm...
    "The Gurus will answer both general questions about computers and giving their own demos of different Microsoft programs and services working in tandem, including Windows Vista as well as Windows Mobile-based smartphones and Windows Live web features. Like...and will instead focus on their ability to help whichever customers they receive.

    Repairs and other technical support won't be part of the new program."

    So, these "Gurus" will be there to sell Vista, not provide technical support to your questions.

    It sounds like they will not help you fix your messed up Vista, only try and sell you on a new copy.

    Microsoft greed........ all the way. :-)

    Just a thought.
    en

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +5

    All they need to do

    All Microsoft needs to do is make sure that they can say the following:

    That's a hardware problem. Call the manufacturer.

    Well, then why not just set up kiosks and let customers press on the buttons:

    blue screen, press 1
    black screen, press 2
    endless houseglass, press 3

    Apple: copy this.

  1. CobraNT

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2003

    +4

    Wow

    Wow....how original.....
    With all the money this company has, they couldn't hire some marketing staff with unique ideas?

  1. jasonh1234

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007

    +1

    MS-Guru?

    Wow I'd hate to have that job.
    The logistics of running a Guru service for Microsoft in a way that actually provides the necessary level of service to customers blows my mind. They have no idea what they're getting into.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +2

    Ha ha ha

    If Ballmer hasn't killed off Microsoft... and we KNOW he's working on it... then THIS aught to!

    Imagine the support costs!

  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    -1

    HAHAHAHAHHAHA

    Microshit support?

    Ha-lowww...dis is Ran-jeet.. dew yew un-da-staaand da werdz com-ming out af my moth?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

    Micromorons = worlds best self destruct show!

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    +1

    Wow...

    Man, if it wasn't for their guaranteed revenue generating products....MS would have failed long long ago.

  1. houstonmacbro

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2005

    +4

    How unoriginal

    Does Microsoft have just ONE (1) original idea in the entire company? Or do they just live to rip off other companies' ideas?

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