Microsoft to Open Mini-Stores in Best Buy
Partnership will be bigger than chain's deal with others
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 13, 2013 6:20 PM CDT
This undated photo provided by Microsoft shows a Windows store at Best Buy.   (Uncredited)

(Newser) – Microsoft has unveiled plans for "store-within-a-store" sections in Best Buy stores, becoming the latest major consumer electronics maker to acknowledge advantages of the brick-and-mortar format. The sections will begin opening this month and offer Windows-based PCs, tablets, Xbox, and accessories, as well as trained staff to explain Windows 8 to customers. All of the Microsoft mini-stores are expected to be set up in about 600 Best Buy locations in the US and Canada by early September, around the same time analysts expect a free update to Windows 8 to be released.

The alliance with Microsoft comes as Best Buy continues to battle the "showrooming" effect, the term for shoppers who browse in stores buy then buy items cheaper online. This has led to fears that the big-box store format is growing obsolete, but major electronics retailers are finding an advantage in having a destination where sales staff can explain its products to shoppers. Best Buy has similar store-within-stores for Apple, Samsung, and Magnolia products, but the Microsoft mini-stores will be bigger than the others.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
boxcar
Jun 14, 2013 10:02 PM CDT
This reminds me of an "In-store" health food co. that was tried in Sears stores in the 1990s it didn't work out.
K.KRANK
Jun 14, 2013 5:44 PM CDT
I'll wait for the PS4 lol
oldcarl
Jun 14, 2013 10:47 AM CDT
I'm not a big fan of Microsoft because they vastly overcharge for their products. I have MS Windows 7 because it came with the new HP computer a few years ago, but I bought an earlier version of MS Office from a thrift store and installed it rather than pay extra to keep the Office suite that was for trial only. I believe $25 was a lot better price than the price MS charges for a full MS Office suite, and it works just as well for me in my home. The Microsoft people have made Billions already and could afford to cut prices somewhat, but they won't do so, just like the Apple company. So, if I want it I can buy it secondhand. With that said, I have not been in a Best Buy in more than a year and maybe two. The addition of Microsoft won't get me in there except perhaps to see how it looks inside the store, but w/o some steep price cuts I'd be inclined to shop elsewhere. BTW, The Free downloadable Open Office is a good alternative to MS Office and I believe there is a free or nearly free OS which may even be less vulnerable to hackers than MS Windows.