Tech companies like Google, Apple, Amazon are putting lots of their efforts to get closer to China this year. So how about Microsoft? As far as we know, they opened their first experience store in Beijing back in April and launched couples of Windows Phone 7 handset by ZTE and Nokia. Other than those, nothing major was seen yet. With recent, they had a partnership with Suning, an electronic retail chain in China (Best Buy-like enterprise), to sell its Windows phone in 2012.
Microsoft “Genuine” Experience Store
Microsoft doesn’t have a Microsoft store in China, but an experience store located in Beijing Zhongguancun that opened back in April this year. The new Microsoft experience store is operated by a channel provider and it offers Microsoft’s various products, including the Windows operating systems, Office software, keyboards, and mouse.
In addition, professional sales consultants and trainers will locate in the store to provide users with consulting, product validation, and purchase services related to the software and hardware products of Microsoft.
According to Li Xiang, general manager for the Greater China region of Microsoft OEM Business Department disclosed, the expansion of the authentic experience store is a part of the company’s bigger plan. But he did not revealed any hints of what that exactly going to be.
We spotted something that is quite interesting inside the experience store, and that’s the way it emphasizes “genuine (真)”. You can see the Chinese word “真” everywhere inside the store.
Microsoft Picks Chinese Windows Phone Partner
The chairman of Suning Appliance Group photo with president of Microsoft International
Microsoft has already selected its initial partner for its coming Windows Phone 7 push in the Chinese market, and that’s Suning Appliance Group, which has some 700 stores in China. Both side has reached high degree of consensus which intended to cooperate in e-commerce, sales, marketing.
Suning is a company that works like Best Buy, you can say it is a Best-Buy clone as well. The company is famous of selling electronics in China, and they are also an authorized Apple reseller as well.
Suning elite store
China also has other famous electronic retail chains like Gome, but Suning is apparently the front runner to cooperate in promoting both WP7 and the next version of its desktop OS, Windows 8. We are guessing Suning will set up a booth for Microsoft in its premium stores Suning elite outlet. Microsoft experience store and Suning elite are the two channels that we expected to see distribution of WP7 and Windows 8.
So how about Marketplace? We previously reported the Microsoft Marketplace was partially blocked by the government for some unknown reasons after it first vanished in August. We are not sure whether the problem is fixed or not by now.
There is no doubt that the Chinese market is huge and still growing, the country recently has already overtook the US in both PC sales and shipments, Suning will play a significant role to aid Microsoft to sell 100 million Windows Phone handsets in 2012.
China is plagued by mass iPhone and Android adoption, so how Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 going to boost itself to Chinese consumers? Allegedly, Microsoft is in talks with Lenovo, ZTE and Huawei to build WP7 devices specifically for China. It is surprising to know Huawei is also part of Microsoft’s plan, as Huawei is already a huge contender in the Android market.
Furthermore, it is funny to know Chinese consumers are still favor in Windows XP more than Windows 7, can Windows Phone 7/Windows 8 heat up by next year? Well, hope so. People are saying Windows Phone Mango has the best Chinese input method, but surely they need more than that to attract Chinese consumers.
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