They’ll fix your computer.
It’s a move that signifies that Microsoft might just give a damn about supporting their OS as vigorously as Apple now that the Steve Jobs factor is no longer in play. As a disclaimer, I am primarily a Mac user as well as a Windows and Ubuntu user (and server monkey), so my allegiance is pretty much with “whatever the hell gets the job accomplished”
From the Wall Street Journal:
In a program unknown to most computer users, the company has been using its small chain of retail stores and its online computer store to sell customized versions of popular PC models that have been streamlined for a cleaner look and better performance. It calls these machines “Signature” PCs. They retain the maker’s brand, but sport a special Signature desktop and configuration. And they cost about the same as the identical stock version of the machine sold elsewhere.
Microsoft also offers a program that, for $99, will turn users’ Windows 7 PCs into Signature versions, if the owner brings the computer into one of its 16 stores, due to grow to 21 outlets in coming months. All Signature computers come with 90 days of free phone support, as well as help at the stores’ “Answer Desks,” which are like the Genius Bars at Apple stores.
I’ve been testing three Signature models and comparing them with the same machines as sold elsewhere without the Signature modifications. I found the Signature versions much cleaner and easier to navigate and faster in a variety of tests.
I’d venture to say if you care about your data not potentially being lost in the process of these Signature upgrades, they will be about as blatant as Apple in selling you an external drive from in the store.
But hey, it’s about time Microsoft went about stealing that whole Genius Bar idea on top of the blatantly follow-the-leader store fronts. More power to them. I’m simply wondering that if they’re just going to copy what’s working well for Apple, can the Xbox tablet be far behind?