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Microsoft Opens Retail Experience Center

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Showcasing new and emerging technologies that create connected and differentiated experiences for consumers throughout the retail environment, Microsoft Corp. today announced its new Retail Experience Center, which serves as a center of innovation for how Microsoft and the retail industry can address rising consumer expectations and competitive pressures during today’s challenging economic conditions.

    Located at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., the Retail Experience Center is a private, 20,000-square-foot facility housing a fully functioning, interactive store environment, from point of service to receiving dock. Representing a blend of Microsoft’s merchandising efforts as a consumer goods company and its solution capabilities as a technology provider for the retail industry, the center is part of Microsoft’s ongoing investments in exploring how technology-driven innovations can enhance consumers’ lives and shopping experiences.

    The Retail Experience Center features in-store displays of Microsoft consumer products and showcases powerful ways to cut costs, create efficiencies, streamline operations, and promote and sell goods — within the aisles, in the employee break room, at receiving and shipping, at checkout, across the Web, and even at home or on the go.

    “With changing consumer demands and slowed spending, increasing shopper loyalty and frequency while managing costs is critical for retailers’ success,” said Bill Gonzalez, general manager, Worldwide Distribution and Services Sector at Microsoft. “Through the immersive setting of the Retail Experience Center, our retail customers can emerge with an in-depth sense of how software and innovations can help them rise above competitive pressures and industry regulations to create a consumer-driven operation — one that consistently delivers a differentiated customer experience across multiple channels while empowering employees to make every square foot of retail space as profitable and productive as possible.”

    Visitors to the center can experience more than 25 technology innovations and partner solutions in action. These showcase how Microsoft and its industry partners are directly benefiting consumers and the retail industry in the following ways:
    • Build connected shopping experiences and customer loyalty. A hands-on environment with seamless, multichannel integration, the Retail Experience Center encourages visitors to try easy, more natural ways to interact with and access digital content. Interactive technologies include digital signage and kiosks plus applications that deliver targeted, real-time information to a shopping cart or on a consumer’s mobile phone to help influence buying decisions, sales and customer loyalty. Innovations include Microsoft Surface, Microsoft Advertising solutions, Microsoft radio frequency identification infrastructure, Microsoft Tag, Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 and the multitouch features in Windows 7.
    • Improve business insights and decision-making. From the employee break room to assisted selling devices on the sales floor to a store manager’s workbench, the center showcases innovations across the entire retail environment. Visitors can experience how technology can empower retail employees with better visibility, support collaboration for increased productivity, and enable a seamless consumer experience. Innovations include Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, Microsoft unified communications offerings, Microsoft business intelligence solutions, Windows Mobile and Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007.
    • Create operational efficiencies. Retailers can cut costs, lower expenses and increase operational efficiencies with technologies for store systems integration, performance management, proactive remote monitoring of a store’s environment, virtualization and enhanced data security capabilities. Environmental sustainability is also demonstrated throughout the center from the design of the building to the management of in-store technology and the eco-friendly packaging for products on its shelves. Technologies include Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 and Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology.
    Center Serves as Test Facility to Influence New Products, Consumer Programs

    The Retail Experience Center is also part of Microsoft’s larger effort to establish a research facility to better understand and address how consumers are experiencing the Windows brand at retail as they select and purchase PCs. Acting as a test facility, it will give the retail industry a unique opportunity to provide feedback that can directly influence future Microsoft products and how it sells to consumers.

    “Customers have told us they want Microsoft to play a more active role in their technology experiences, by helping direct them to the specific products, services and technologies that will most benefit their unique needs,” said Brad Brooks, corporate vice president for Windows Consumer Product Marketing at Microsoft.

    As a result of consumer feedback, early pilots with retailers have included branded store-within-a-store displays, with some featuring trained Microsoft Gurus to assist PC buyers.

    Source: Microsoft
  2. sheps999

    sheps999 New Member

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    What in this article isn't marketing speak?
  3. timta2

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    I wonder how long it will be before The Microsoft Store opens in the mall down the street?
  4. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a press-release from Microsoft.
  5. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    This idea is big FAIL. Apple have got some sexy "touch and feel" stuff with pretty colors for handbags.

    MS has got productivity software and cardboard boxes. :roll:
  6. sheps999

    sheps999 New Member

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    Aah, that would explain why :)
  7. tkpenalty New Member

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    Productivity is sexy. Seriously would you rather have a Productive PC or a Magnificent Mac? I'd choose the former because you wont be staring at the tower and the bezel designs for the majority of the time.

    A bit more on the topic they're mimicking Apple's stratergy to some extent, minus the computers themselves which other Manufacturers build.

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