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New Microsoft Store, No New Excitement

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Image via Justin Sondel

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The Microsoft-Apple rivalry has been going on since the start of time. OK, maybe not quite that long, but at least since Apple started posing a serious threat to Microsoft’s profits. With last week’s introduction of the  iPhone 4 (sans the technical issues) Microsoft came out with something new of its own. Here’s Handshake’s comparison of the two.

Location, Location, Location

Microsoft: Opened it’s fourth store in San Diego, CA. Other store locations include Mission Viejo, Scottsdale, AZ and Lone Tree, CO.

Apple: Has 286 retail stores including the Georgetown location in Washington, DC.

Help!

Microsoft: Rumored Guru Bar – an ode to their help staff being outsourced, perhaps.

Apple: The Genius Bar – Can’t figure out how to access something? They will have the answer.

Living the high life:

Microsoft: Microsoft  Cloud Services aimed at businesses. Sharepoint Online and Exchange Online allows users to share calendars, documents, contacts, and tasks. This has  implications for telecommuting and the whole cloud idea but bottom line is that it’s kicking Apple’s ass.

Apple: This is perhaps the one place where Apple missed the mark with MobileMe. Its biggest selling point is probably its ability to find your iPhone or iPad if they’ve been misplaced and retroactively lock your devices if they’ve been stolen. The other attractive feature is iDisk, which allows you to access your desktop on the go. Beyond that, it offers everything that Google does such as mail, contact, and calendar. And if you have a Macbook, you have immediate access to your computer.

The bottom line is that Microsoft gets points for effort. Opening stores sends the message that they’re willing to put faces to their customer service people. But their products just aren’t as clean and polished as Apple’s are—who doesn’t remember Apple’s smart advertising with the funny smart guy representing all things cool.

Sitting in the Handshake office with a staff working exclusively on Macs, our vote is with Apple.

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