Microsoft allegedly luring Apple retail staff

Ronny Kerr · September 22, 2009 · Short URL:

With promise of higher pay, Microsoft supposedly stealing employees from Apple stores

The Microsoft StoreMicrosoft is reportedly bribing Apple employees to leave their positions for a new position at Microsoft retail stores opening soon, according to the Loop. After previous news that Microsoft was modeling its new stores after the Apple Store, this new development comes as little surprise.

“People that have spoken to The Loop on condition of anonymity confirm that Microsoft has contacted a number of Apple’s retail store managers to work in their stores. In addition to ‘significant raises,’ the managers have also been offered moving expenses in some cases.”

Though Apple dominates sales in the high-end for computers sold at retail stores in the United States, Microsoft still reigns overall with over 90% market share, according to data from NPD Group. But apparently that’s not good enough.

When Microsoft opens its first retail stores this fall in Mission Viejo, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ, according to Redmondmag, they’ll be modeled directly after Apple Stores. Microsoft even went so far to design an “Answers Bar,” which sounds just a teeny bit like Apple’s Genius Bar.

The question is whether or not a design that clearly works for Apple will translate well to Microsoft.

For Apple, a great deal of its success depends on its seamless aesthetic and a “coolness” factor attached to its brand name.

Just last week, Interbrand released its 2009 rankings for the best global brands. Moving Apple from #24 to #20, the global branding consultancy named Apple “among the most iconic of relatively young brands in the world.”

While Microsoft maintains its spot at #3 on Interbrand’s list, the company is apparently trying very hard to steal some of Apple’s cool. Hopefully it has more tricks planned to aid the cause besides this alleged bribing of Apple retail employees.

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