On a recent trip to Seattle, I visited the University Village Apple store. And I noticed that Microsoft now has a retail store just across from it.
A side-by-side comparison shows that Microsoft’s storefront design and logo usage (sans company name) is intentionally similar. The interiors are familiar as well, with large tables displaying hardware. And Microsoft tries its very best to achieve a “less is more” brand appearance.
Visiting the two stores, one after the other, makes it easy to compare company brands (Jobs vs. Gates; Apple vs. PC; great design vs., well…okay design). It makes perfect sense to have a retail experience for both companies. But one can’t help but be reminded that Microsoft came to the retail party so much later that when it arrived, it seemed to be wearing the same outfit.