Microsoft just recently announced that it is taking a “new approach to retail”. What’s the new approach you ask??? Well, it is a bit unorthodox. The new approach to retail is to have no retail.
This is a bit of a sad news for me as I do a lot of work with Microsoft and have a lot of good friends who work for Microsoft and, therefore, I would much prefer that Microsoft was successful in all of its business initiatives including retail stores.
However, as I put my customer hat on, this becomes a much more nuanced issue. I get very concerned when a company does not see its commitments through. I used to buy all hardware for my company from Microsoft because I wanted its store network in case I needed any hardware support. Moreover, I was purchasing largely Microsoft branded hardware as well. Recently we switched to Lenovo, because of apparent innovation paralysis that I observed with respect to the Surface devices. I am typing this on a machine that has double the specs of my old Surface Book 2 at a roughly the same cost.
So, when Microsoft drops out of the retail race, I can’t help but worry about what other races Microsoft just might drop out of. I sincerely hope that Power BI and the rest of BI stack are safe as I have never seen any indications to the contrary, but the same could have been said with respect to Microsoft stores just a week ago.