Consumers can now purchase and download our most popular products like Windows and Office online through the new Microsoft Store. I do like the design of the site, it's clean and uncluttered with no brand logos - how refreshing!
So far the stores are available in Germany and the UK with other international stores coming online in 2008 and 2009. The platform which drives this online purchasing will become available to partners in the future so they can distribute our products electronically too.
This is an interesting step for Microsoft and one wonders what the end game is here. Is this the brand we take into the high street to challenge Apple and it's stores to compete more effectively in the consumer space, or will we continue to leverage our retail partners?
Go here for the store: https://emea.microsoftstore.com/uk
I'm certainly very happy to see this - been waiting for it for years. I note that in the US there's been a Microsoft store for some time.. And yes, great site!
Just to follow up - just been thinking - it looks a tad bit terrifying - i mean, it looks extremely like the sort of "warez" sites you get in spam email! How are Microsoft going to be confident end-users aren't going to get conned in the confusion?
Do you really think it looks like a Warez site? I don't - looks fine to me!
Which bits in particular are you talking about?
Great but what is the difference with http://windowsmarketplace.com/ ?
Another Microsoft store like.
Very clean and beautiful site!
Just wish the prices were a tad lower! ;-)
Are you sure the thing's for real - entering the URL as www.microsoftstore.com returns a 503. I'm sure it's fine, but it's a little odd that the obvious URL doesn't redirect to 'emea...'.
Hi Mark, agreed the URLs are not perfect, yet. Will feed it back to the team.
Nice. Definitely better than I'd expect of most Microsoft sites. Here's what I like :
- Clean and simple : Like the Engadget page. No busy graphics, lines, images, or whatever. Just straight to the point.
- Download option : Very eco-friendly
What I don't like :
- Lack of items : Microsoft's a huge company, and that's all there is to sell? What about things like Xbox 360, Zune, Webcams, Mice, Keyboards, programs like Encarta, OneCare, and a bunch of other stuff?
- UK & Germany only. Don't know why Americans can't purchase.
- No other small extras : Ratings? Reviews? Quick-loading screenshots and demo video? (bonus if it appears instantly, instead of new page). Makes experience much more enriching.
- No actual retail store : I want to see MS make spectacular retail stores. Full product demos live. Xbox 360 Arcade, Zune Zone, very sleek and awesome computers running Vista & Office among other programs to try out, Surface tables, real Help & Support area, among other neat things. Flagship locations in major cities. That's how you bring the experience closer to people.
- Other small UI things : Each item in a list should alternate in light/dark shade, to make it easier to read. "Windows" section contains a graphic of woman and child, which should be omitted (focus on the product, not pictures of people which can be distracting).
- Missing items - "Home + Money" has no Money products. "Design + Developer" has no developer products.
- Prices - I always though Windows + Office prices were bloated. My suggestion, if it means anything: One copy of Windows should cost no more than $250 (US). Each individual office program should be $20 each. Cheap, I know, but since it doesn't always come on computers that are bought, people who want to buy it should have a cheaper price. That way there's no need to resort to piracy.
That's what I have to say. Hope you can read it all.
Hi Quikboy thanks for all your great feedback, I'll make sure I pass it on to the Microsoft Store team.
More products are coming soon...