/// It’s Good for Microsoft, but Are New Windows Stores a Smart Bet for Best Buy?
When Microsoft and Best Buy this week announced the forthcoming launch of 600 Windows Stores within its retail locations, much of the initial analysis centered around what this means for Microsoft’s retail strategy. As fellow AllThingsD editor John Paczkowski explained , the partnership for Microsoft “is a savvy move — an easy way to dramatically increase its retail footprint via an established big-box player.” But what about Best Buy, the retail giant looking hard for a turnaround, as it tries to fend off Amazon and other online-only electronics sellers? First, from a financial point of view, it seems to be a no-brainer. “If you offer a retailer some money, they typically will take it,” Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group, said in an interview. The two companies did not release any financial details of the deal, but it’s a safe bet that Microsoft is spending handsomely to help redesign Best Buy’s PC departments into Windows Stores and train 1,200 Best Buy employees to man the new outlets. Second, the appearance of the new stores appears to be fresher, a bit of an upgrade from the current Best Buy experience. The devices sold within them might be the same, but new wrapping won’t hurt