Microsoft wants people to resonate with the “brand” - they want to be liked for being Microsoft, and harvest the benefits of that affinity - and they’ve determined that having dedicated stores to contextualize their product will help them to define their destiny. But their ubiquity poses a serious challenge to this: it’s awful hard to like something you can’t actually choose. People can enjoy using their 360 or even their Zune, because those products exist in a continuum that includes other products - you can make a decision that reflects you in some way. On the desktop, and this is unfortunate for them, the only way to make a truly discriminating choice is to purchase a competitor’s product.
From Welcome to Retail Oblivion by Jerry Holkins