Jul 152009

Microsoft’s Kurtzian descent into madness continues, according to my favorite purveyor of comic relief Mary Jo Foley.  Apparently, M$’s bluster about a retail presence, which I had chalked up to an episode of missed medication in the marketing department, is going to happen this fall, including “scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple.”

What?  No seriously: what?

Here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice for Redmond: To have a retail presence, it’s a good idea to have something to sell. The only consumer product that would be considered “worth a shit” – by virtue of the non-Microsoft developers they’ve been able to attract – is stuffing the channel at any local Gamespot.  What were you planning: box displays of Windows 7, and Bargain Hunters ads running loops on Zune HDs?

GUI operating system?  No problem.  Music player?  No problem.  Gaming platform?  No problem.

Retail presence?  No problem.  I can see how ripping off and faithlessly reproducing good products could be seen as a viable strategy for a company with more money than god and fewer good ideas than Michael Bay, but do you really not get why this is a bad idea?

Now I’m all for M$ continuing to rip gaping holes in the profitability of its Office and Windows monopolies, but you can’t seriously think you’re doing your brand any good by increasing your exposure to consumers.  And intimiating in your release that you might somehow, in some way be squaring off against one of the most sucessful retail presences in the history of selling shit?

To quote any shareholder stupid enough to stick around after one quarter of this retardery: “The horror…the horror.”

Bonus factoid: M$’s quest for retail is led by David Porter.  According to the press release, Porter joined DreamWorks Animation in 2007 before spending 25 years at Wal-Mart Stores.  So basically, David has experience with both derivative offerings *cough*Pixar*cough* and monopolies.  He should fit right in.

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