Microsoft Tries to Copy Apple Store, Scottsdale AZ Store Opening Reveals Extent of Blatant Plagiarism

Monday, October 26, 2009
By OP Editor

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Microsoft calls the design of their new Store “Uniquely Microsoft.” But is it really unique? Start reading from first page of: Microsoft New Store, Unique or Apple Store Copy?

Microsoft store vs Apple store

Journalist Impressions Roundup

Despite Microsoft’s assertion of uniqueness, journalists did not see anything “uniquely Microsoft” when Microsoft new retail store was unveiled on October 22, 2009. On the contrary, journalists see overwhelming similarities to the Apple Stores:

  • “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Microsoft is sending a big compliment to Apple.” NPR Morning Edition Radio, Steve Inskeep.
  • “Physical appearance of the Microsoft Store–too similar to the Apple Store, in my opinion–won’t earn Redmond any points for originality.” Jeff Bertolucci, PC World
  • “Haunting resemblance to Apple Stores.” Gizmodo.
  • “It’s creepy, as in like stalker-ish creepy, just how blatantly they’ve copied Apple.” John Gruber, Daring Fireball.


Microsoft’s new retail store is the latest example of a company that regularly makes bold statements that might contain significant half-truths or works-of-fiction.

Contrary to Microsoft’s statement, not only is the “first” Microsoft Store at Scottsdale AZ not their first, it’s also not “uniquely Microsoft.” Perhaps MS needs to look up the definition of unique. (Unique: unlike anything else)

Yes, MS has made some token changes, but the Microsoft’s intention is no secret. Their goal is to mimic the iconic Apple Store and it shows.

In the mean time, Microsoft tells its shareholder that it has a “Commitment to Innovation.”

Call it imitating, copying, or plagiarizing, Microsoft definitely isn’t innovating here.

It would suit Microsoft to alter the motto of Ron Johnson, Apple Senior Vice President of Retail: “Why copy when you can create?” With some clever copying, pasting, and minor variation, Microsoft would have a new motto: “Why create when you can copy?”


Opening Day References:

Microsoft’s First Retail Store Opens (Like Apple Store With More Colors) [gizmodo]

Microsoft Opens First New Retail Store in Scottsdale, Arizona [macrumors]

Microsoft Store opens to Scottsdale campers (video) [engadget]

Microsoft borrows Apple Store blueprint, manager (video) [engadget]

More References:

[1] 2009: First Microsoft Retail Store Opens [microsoft]

“First Microsoft Retail Store”
Microsoft First Retail Store Press Release - 2009

“Design of the stores is uniquely Microsoft”
Microsoft First Retail Store Press Release 2009, Claims Store Design "Uniquely Microsoft"

[2] 1999: Microsoft Debuts microsoftSF Retail Environment At San Francisco’s Metreon Sony Entertainment Center [microsoft]

Microsoft First Retail Store, 1999, San Francisco Metreon Sony Entertainment Center, Press Release for MicrosoftSF

[3] Microsoft first retail store exits Sony-owned mall, November 2001 [cnet]

[4] Apple: America’s best retailer [Fortune Magazine / CNN]

[5] Leak: Microsoft stores to mimic Apple’s with “Guru Bars” [gizmodo via appleinsider]


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Tags: Analysis, Apple, Apple Store, Counterfeit, Fail, Microsoft, Video

4 Responses to “Microsoft Tries to Copy Apple Store, Scottsdale AZ Store Opening Reveals Extent of Blatant Plagiarism”

  1. I deliberately didn’t look at your Web page until I had posted my own analysis of the second Microsoft store in Mission Viejo. Hmmm-m-m. I seem to have copied your material. Seriously, it’s pretty obvious what Microsoft is up to, so it’s not unusual we should both come to the same conclusion and write about it. I appreciate that you took the time and trouble to find old photos and compared the videos. Great! (Interestingly, the anti-spam word I was asked to type when entering this comment was “innovate.” Weird!)

    [OP edit, article here: ]

  2. Hey Gary, Neat analysis in your article. I wouldn’t say you copied my material at all. We have the same conclusions, but took different routes.

    LOL, funny coincidence with captcha. How ironic.

    FYI, the anti-spam words were developed before Microsoft section was added to the site, so some of the words (actually, many of the words) probably won’t apply to MS.

  3. Kev

    @OP Editor, Nice article conclusion punch line!

  4. Nice overview (and site). The detailed comparison of the Microsoft and Apple stores is pretty eye-opening. Looks like this pre-opening leaked sketch of the Microsoft Store wasn’t so far off the mark:

    Keep up the good writing!


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