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Microsoft Poaches Apple Retail Staff

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

Microsoft is really learning from the competition, huh?

Microsoft is gearing up to open some brick and mortar retail stores and it seems the company is poaching staff from Apple stores.

Back in July, Microsoft announced that the first of its retail stores would open in the fall. Next, Microsoft confirmed that it would be opening several branches in locations not too far away from Apple retail stores. A couple of weeks later it emerged that Microsoft had hired a former Apple retail executive to George Blankenship. Considered Apple's 'real estate guru,' Microsoft said Blankenship would be working alongside David Porter, the former Wal-Mart executive the company had appointed to head its retail endeavor.

Moving in next-door and executive adoptions aside, you've got the store designs (which are said to be very similar) and Microsoft's "Guru Bars." This brings us quite nicely to today's news, which says Microsoft is trying to lure away Apple employees by offering positions to Apple store managers. Once hired, the managers then contact top sales staff and try and convince them to jump ship and join Microsoft.

How is Microsoft tempting these Apple employees over to the dork side? With money! Yay! The Loop, which broke the story yesterday, cites sources who say the managers contacts have been offered "significant raises" and in some cases, Microsoft has even offered to cover moving expenses.

Read the full story here.

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  • 2 Hide
    valcron , September 22, 2009 2:53 PM
    Hmm so what? Is this supposed to matter.

    If apple doesn't pay their employee's enough to keep them or garner enough employee loyalty through rewards programs its their own fault for their employees leaving.

    At the same time if i were these employee's i would be weary...companies are known to put strong goals on retail employees that determine if they keep their jobs. And i can see Microsoft putting some of the hardest goals out there, especially due to the pay increase/moving expense.
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , September 22, 2009 3:08 PM
    It's pretty amazing that Microsoft has made it to the top and stayed there with such an overwhelming lead over the competition with the Windows platform. And the whole while, many years later after launching their first product they are actually opening up a retail store... I look forward to seeing them in person. But no doubt this is because of the competition with Apple.
  • 0 Hide
    tektek , September 22, 2009 3:21 PM
    The only market strategy i want to hear about is when it forces them to cut prices... how they make there shops look.. means nothing.. besides... most techies buy from online..
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    ChuvelxD , September 22, 2009 3:22 PM
    Business is business. This happens all the time and is nothing new. What i'm looking at is this article.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/336235/Ten-Big-Companies-That-Are-Veering-Toward-Bankruptcy?tickers=AMD,LVS,S,M,GT,MYL,HTZ

    AMD is on this list. oO GOGOGOGO GULFTOWN!!!
  • -5 Hide
    amabhy , September 22, 2009 3:27 PM
    All Apple does anyway is sell overpriced shit that explodes when you use it. The only reason they exist is to spur Microsoft to make Windows better and so we can shit on them.

    No wonder Microsoft is staying competitive. Good for them.
  • 3 Hide
    dheadley , September 22, 2009 3:38 PM
    @valcron

    I have no idea what Apple is paying their store managers, but as an example:

    Say Apple pays 1.5 times the going industry rate for that level of position in a geographic area and has attracted the best talent in a given area.

    Microsoft comes in and says we'll pay 2 times the going rate and pay your moving expenses if you need to relocate. Plus we'll offer a bonus for every Apple retail associate you get to switch teams.

    There is nothing wrong with offering someone more money to come work for your company and they are targeting the right people to hire as the Apple staff will know their customers (people with software questions, in's and outs of upgrades, etc.) more than anyone they would hire away from the Best Buy or Walmart employee pool.

    BUT, I am a little concerned that Microsoft is opening these stores, choosing locations and now this with the job offers as a way to derail the Apple retail business. They may be going down a road where they are willingly going to throw a bunch of money away and run the stores at a big loss if needed to to accomplish it. So I would be concerned for the future if I was an Apple employee, and wonder if this is meant to be a permanent thing or just Microsoft trying to strip the ranks of Apples retail business then dump them down the road.
  • 0 Hide
    presidenteody , September 22, 2009 3:39 PM
    I agree with doomtomb, it seems Microsoft is doing this business thing backwards. Are you not suppose to open a store to sell product before becoming a monopoly and having several anti-trust suit filed against you? I suppose now they are going for the more traditional approach?

    I am glad more competition is entering the game! We need it as consumers for the big wigs to stay competitive! And hell if they want to pay their employees more then heck yeah! as long as they aren't as pushy as the circuit city or hhgreg commissioned guys
  • 0 Hide
    cruiseoveride , September 22, 2009 4:06 PM
    +1 for significant raises
  • 1 Hide
    bydesign , September 22, 2009 4:49 PM
    What is Microsoft going to sell, they don't make anything remotely cool. Trendy people selling useless crap that's not cool. They seem rather lost without Gates.
  • 2 Hide
    Yoder54 , September 22, 2009 5:12 PM
    tektekThe only market strategy i want to hear about is when it forces them to cut prices... how they make there shops look.. means nothing.. besides... most techies buy from online..


    If you are a college student you can get Win7 Pro for $29. I am having my daughter get me a copy since she is eligible.

    MS has tried similar tactics in the past and it always seems to blow-up on them. Why do they want to hire Apple Geeks, when there are plenty of qualified Win Geeks out there? Seems more like an act of retaliation than one of good business.
  • 1 Hide
    Maxor127 , September 22, 2009 5:58 PM
    I don't know why Microsoft is wasting all of this money on something that will clearly fail. It made sense for Apple to do it because they didn't get a lot of shelf space at retail stores. It seems more about Microsoft's ego than anything else.
  • 1 Hide
    precariousgray , September 22, 2009 6:24 PM
    An added plus is that now Microsoft has in-house Apple experts who will know exactly how to convince someone to buy a PC instead of a Mac
  • 0 Hide
    Major7up , September 22, 2009 7:42 PM
    I'd do it in a heartbeat. I like both camps and have no loyalty to either.
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 22, 2009 8:40 PM
    Hah that's funny. I wonder if they just aren't doing it to piss off Apple :D . It's actually pretty smart, who better to keep people on PCs than those who know Macs best. Of course, I don't put much stock in these "Gurus", but whatever :D .
  • 0 Hide
    rsud , September 22, 2009 10:00 PM
    Alright... we have a windows-mart! What do they make again? Oh yeah some zune thing. A whole store full of zunes and windoze 7. Should be a small store! Why don't they just setup street carts?
  • 0 Hide
    AMDnoob , September 23, 2009 2:43 AM
    Does Microsoft really feel THAT threatened by Apple? I mean I'm all for friendly competition (if it even exists), but doesn't Apple have like
  • 0 Hide
    valcron , September 23, 2009 11:53 AM
    dheadley@valcron I have no idea what Apple is paying their store managers, but as an example:Say Apple pays 1.5 times the going industry rate for that level of position in a geographic area and has attracted the best talent in a given area. Microsoft comes in and says we'll pay 2 times the going rate and pay your moving expenses if you need to relocate. Plus we'll offer a bonus for every Apple retail associate you get to switch teams. There is nothing wrong with offering someone more money to come work for your company and they are targeting the right people to hire as the Apple staff will know their customers (people with software questions, in's and outs of upgrades, etc.) more than anyone they would hire away from the Best Buy or Walmart employee pool. BUT, I am a little concerned that Microsoft is opening these stores, choosing locations and now this with the job offers as a way to derail the Apple retail business. They may be going down a road where they are willingly going to throw a bunch of money away and run the stores at a big loss if needed to to accomplish it. So I would be concerned for the future if I was an Apple employee, and wonder if this is meant to be a permanent thing or just Microsoft trying to strip the ranks of Apples retail business then dump them down the road.


    Thank you for re-iterating the entire point of my post. There was nothing wrong with Microsoft for doing it and its Apples fault if they can't keep their employees. Not sure where you thought i said something different