stevebill

Microsoft’s most recent imitation of the Apple experience has proved to be nothing short of blatant and shameless. Most readers – at least those fortunate enough to live near an Apple Store – are familiar with the Apple experience; the uniform, modern minimalist decor, tables of Apple technology waiting to be played with, the friendly “Genius” staff wanting to help, and shelves of software and accessories. Through their retail outlets, Apple has even turned the annoyance of waiting in line into an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Those less fortunate, and too far away to shop Apple in person, can still visit the online Apple Store and get a feel for what the real-life version is like. The color scheme, vast selection of Mac products, and simplicity of the online store mimic the retail Apple Store experience. Starting last week, so does Microsoft.

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First, Microsoft revamped their online store so it now includes “great hardware paired with a finely-tuned selection of Microsoft Signature software,” including an array of popular PC brand laptops and desktops. Fine, no big rip-off there. But in case you thought I was being hyperbolic about the imitation, check out the newly opened Microsoft retail store in Scottsdale (Arizona).  Notice the almost-exact store layout and primary-color t-shirted Geniuses — called ‘Gurus’ — eager to help. Some sources are also reporting on the hiring of former Apple Store employees and executives for Microsoft’s not-so-new venture.

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It even had Apple Store-esque lines outside.

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Still think that I’m exaggerating? Watch this video and prepare to be a little creeped out.