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Best Buy – Selling Windows 8, kind of…

December 22, 2012

I went to Best Buy today to see if things had changed since last weekend. I wanted to give the benefit of doubt that potentially what I saw was a bi-product of the floor prep process. I have to say, the results were mixed.

First, the Microsoft Surface was still tucked away nicely with the Smartphones. The display looked reasonable. The Surface was on the same table with the HTC 8X and a non-touch HP all-in-one desktop. Also on the display, on the same table, was a Lenovo Yoga. Again, in a place where people were looking for computers, the display would have been fine.

One disturbing piece of information is the placement and treatment of both the Samsung Smart PC and the Asus Vivotab RT. They were placed on the end of a row with no signage. Unfortunately, the Vivotab on display was not working. This seems to be a trend as I saw a Vivotab in nearly identical state of malfunction at the ATT store earlier in the week. It was not functioning at all. I rebooted the device and got it to restart. It looked like it was working, but within a few seconds, swiping quit working. I noticed what appeared to be a mouse click on the screen, but swiping to see the charms would not work. I powered the computer off in hopes nobody would try to restart the device.

Next to the two Windows 8 tablets, which appeared to have no inventory btw, were a string of cheaper Android tablets. Ironically enough, the sign for “Windows 8 Tablets” was sitting right in front of the Android tablets. That should be helpful in making sure people understand the difference between Windows and Android don’t you think?

Now for the good news. They now had the Microsoft Surface sitting on a table amongst the other computers. It did appear that none of the keyboards were around and I didn’t see any signs talking about the Surface; however, I think it’s possible that they were just getting it setup. I will try back this weekend. To make things a little nicer, I couldn’t get close to the Surface because there were other people around it.

Overall, there is a tremendous difference in the Best Buy configuration today and the Best Buy configuration a couple months ago. It does look like the PC section is starting to fill in with fully functioning Windows 8 devices. However, the lack of organization along with the failure to really highlight the value of the “hybrid devices” appropriately probably isn’t a good sign given the Windows 8 hybrid devices cost more.

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