Microsoft Gurus a Major Element in Redmond's New Retail Push



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The problem MS is not addressing is that people need training after the sale. You can demo all you want, but when the PC is up and running who's there to set up e-mail, browsers, photo programs, music...etc. Apple has the advantage of developing those programs and they can train and support after the sale, MS is in a bad place because they can't train people to use Picassa or Open Office or Firefox. Ask anyone with parents and grandparents who are not tech savvy, where do they go for help to figure out how to use this stuff? My father in law was having problems with IE 7 so I told him to use firefox. "How do I do that?" We take that stuff for granted but its not  common knowledge. MS needs some simple OS usability classes with every OS sale. There is a lot of opportunity there, but not much profit. We need a sponsor to step up.



"Microsoft Gurus are tasked with handling pre-sales questions only ,
while the Apple Genius Bar personnel can also provide technical support."


That's not what Microsoft needs.  I think the reason Macs are gaining so much momentum is because of the friendly help they get when their computers get owned.  I know it's hard for Microsoft to give support since they don't create the hardware, but any tech support should have no problem helping people with drivers and doing small system fixes.  Also, it'd be nice if Microsoft had one on one training sessions like Apple stores do.  Perhaps for a cost, but in some ways Vista is a completely different interface than Windows XP was.  Will the Microsoft Guru tables work?  Perhaps, but IMHO, I don't think it's worth the whole $300 million.  It'll probably make people ooh and ahh from the demonstrations, and customers who were holding off on the upgrade will probably buy it, but I doubt it'll attract a large amount new customers.



The lack of post-sales support is the biggest weakness in Microsoft's new retail plan, especially since so many of us live in a part-Redmond, part-someplace else world. I use a mix of Microsoft, Adobe, Corel, and various other programs on my systems, and I know I'm not the only one.

It's ironic that the folks in Redmond who have planned this have forgotten that Microsoft recently rolled out a great new site that could be used to help MS Gurus provide that valuable post-sales support: the Windows Vista Compatibility Center. Microsoft needs to stop thinking like a monopoly - and adding post-sales support to the job description for its Microsoft Gurus would be a good start.


It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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