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Microsoft Reportedly Poaching Apple Retail Staff 375

Posted by kdawson
from the well-wouldn't-you dept.
Eugen notes an article up at Ars reporting that Microsoft, besides copying Apple's retail formula, is now going after Apple's retail employees. "Microsoft is reportedly trying to hire away Apple's retail employees by bribing them with... wait for it, better wages. 'People that have spoken to The Loop on condition of anonymity confirm that Microsoft has contacted a number of Apple's retail store managers to work in their stores. In addition to "significant raises," the managers have also been offered moving expenses in some cases.' It doesn't end there: once the ex-Apple managers have jumped ship, they are asked to contact their top sales employees at their old workplaces and offer them similar positions at Microsoft's retail stores, also with higher pay. ... If you work in an Apple store near a soon-to-be-opened Microsoft store, apparently the software giant is giving you a free pass; no looking through job postings necessary!"
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Microsoft Reportedly Poaching Apple Retail Staff

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  • by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Monday September 21, 2009 @11:54PM (#29500099)
    Every position above janitor in Redmond comes with either:
    A) A paid for move, arranged for you, including having all your stuff packed and unpacked, and a hotel to stay in for a month while house hunting
    or
    B) A lump sum cash payout to do it yourself (mostly attractive to fresh out of college types with little to move)
    I suspect they already had a similar program for retail. It's not a new benefit.
    • I think it's worth noting that Microsoft isn't unique in this respect; many companies make similar offers (including my present employer). It's a small price to pay to get the right candidate hired on. Professionals should always ask about these sort of arrangements before accepting any offer of employment where a move would be required.
    • Off topic, while the above comment seems to have posted, it lagged for several minutes while posting (in FF3.5) before I eventually reloaded the page fresh. Despite appearing here, it doesn't appear in my personal comments history (then again, I expected the forced reload to eat the comment, so I suppose something is better than nothing). Still very odd. Something going funky with the comments JS?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by egregious (16118) *

      I think this is more like McDonald's hiring Burger King managers than the usual tech employment, hence ne. This is retail, not what most /. readers would think as managerial positions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Divebus (860563)

        This is a lot like luring Lexus or Mercedes sales people to sell Ramblers. It won't take long before many realize they're selling junk yard class equipment and start sending customers back to the Apple stores.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Omestes (471991)

          Stop OS trolling,

          The current offering from MS aren't bad, perhaps not quite as good as the offerings from Apple, but they are getting close. The only real difference in these stores is that Apple offers labeled hardware, and MS offers 3rd party hardware (PC wise). The software offerings are mixed, Win7 is about as good as OS X (pains me a bit to say that), the Zune is basically what Apple is pushing (limited storage space, lots of superfluous extras), without the benefit of iTMS and iTunes (which is sad),

          • by klubar (591384) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @08:39AM (#29502509) Homepage
            Two more differences.... Microsoft chases the corporate market much more aggressively -- and has an OS and marketing strategy tuned to those market's needs (centralized control, scalability). And Microsoft has a broader product line (besides a scalable, supported server) they have a significant game business--both hardware and software. The retail locations will be able to push XBox and MS Studio Games--something that Apple really can't offer.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)

            Good post but I take exception with one thing:

            Zune is basically what Apple is pushing (limited storage space, lots of superfluous extras), without the benefit of iTMS and iTunes (which is sad), but hardware-wise about the same

            The Zune desktop software in my opinion is vastly superior to iTunes. It's prettier, has a bunch of 'social' features (which sound stupid, but it's actually cool to see what your friends are listening to), and, in general, faster. I've heard that iTunes isn't such a bloated pile of cra

    • If Microsoft's staff was limited to the talent pool of a town of ~50,000, that would explain a lot...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They'll be given forged paperwork and identification so they can still tell friends, family and potential employers that they work for Apple.

  • That's the market. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradis@NoSpAm.palegray.net> on Monday September 21, 2009 @11:55PM (#29500107) Homepage Journal
    I wouldn't go for it (and I don't work for Apple), but money is money I suppose. For many, job satisfaction outweighs wages, to a certain point. There's also the time already invested in the current position to consider; even if you're not completely satisfied with your current gig, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.
    • by Quothz (683368) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:32AM (#29500393) Journal

      I wouldn't go for it (and I don't work for Apple), but money is money I suppose. For many, job satisfaction outweighs wages, to a certain point. There's also the time already invested in the current position to consider; even if you're not completely satisfied with your current gig, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

      That's all true, but there's something to be said for getting in on the ground floor. Microsoft is trying its best to recruit the top salesfolk, and these're guys and gals who might well have their eyes on management slots. Joining a new, well-funded operation can be a good lure for the upwardly mobile.

      • by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @03:52AM (#29501333)

        That's all true, but there's something to be said for getting in on the ground floor. Microsoft is trying its best to recruit the top salesfolk, and these're guys and gals who might well have their eyes on management slots. Joining a new, well-funded operation can be a good lure for the upwardly mobile.

        You also have to consider the future of the company - has Apple shot its load, or are there other must-have products in the pipeline? And a Microsoft store? Ever heard of Gateway stores?

        The entire reason for Apple stores were those tiny niches at a CompUSA and other places, where Apple was relegated to the background as an afterthought. They wanted a place to showcase their products and not be presented as second-fiddle or second-tier. Also, it's a place for people to play and gawk at their stuff, play toys for gadget geeks.

        Microsoft may have some things, but Xbox and Zune is at every Walmart. What exactly do they have to showcase that isn't at the big box stores (Yeah, I know ipods/iphone is at walmart, but the notebooks aren't...)

        • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @05:06AM (#29501625)

          Gateway stores would have been far more successful if you didn't have to special order and wait for a computer. Had they spent the cash and had inventory at their stores, I'm almost sure they would have made a much bigger impact.

          There is one thing Apple has that few other consumer level companies give, and that is service. Apple Numbers has glitches? Call Apple or hit a Genius bar, and it doesn't matter if it is the hardware, the app, or the OS, they will at least try to fix it. They may not be perfect, but this is better for the nontechnical home user than the usual "call the hardware/OS/app/software guy, don't bother us" that is common in the PC world. This is also the same reason why IBM, Oracle, Cisco and Sun rake in the big cash. For production, people don't want to try to figure where in their stack the issue is, they want it fixed ASAP regardless if it is an app, RDBMS, OS, or hardware problem.

          Had Gateway offered this service where people could come in with their machine, and someone would be able to at least point them in a direction, be it a broken app, software, Windows, or the GW hardware, I am almost certain the stores would still be turning a positive ROI. Of course, this would mean tacking on a price difference to afford this, but perhaps Gateway might have been better off as positioning as a higher end computer place with personal service, similar to Alienware or IBM/Lenovo.

          My question is, what can Microsoft do with their stores to make them worth the investment? Some ideas occur to me, but they are not really consumer level. One of them is partnering with HP or another PC vendor, and having preconfigured, turnkey appliances ready to go out the door. SMB needs to go with Exchange? Hit the MS store, buy a rack frame, DC, Exchange edge server for outgoing/incoming mail, Exchange edge server for OWA/POP/IMAP, and two servers for the central hub mailbox storage. Another business needs a large document repository? Sell a preconfigured, ready to go tower with SharePoint installed, and some consultant service time to get it up and integrated.

          Consumer level, it is a lot harder. Perhaps preconfigured/preinstalled PCs that have more than just the basic bloatware. For example, laptops that ship with Enterprise or Ultimate Windows 7 editions, Office Professional, a no nonsense corporate edition antivirus utility. Another example would be a PC in a Media Center/HTPC case that is configured with the latest CableCARD stuff, large capacity, low-noise drives and mountings. Finally, another example would be a Windows Home Server box from HP that someone can buy off the shelf and start using as backups. In all the above examples, the key to customer sat would be having some form of support, either by phone or in person.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by plover (150551) *

          What exactly do they have to showcase that isn't at the big box stores?

          Geniuses. The complaining that goes on with PCs is that they have problems. Apples have problems too, but they have nice, friendly geniuses at every store. You don't whine about an Apple problem that lasts for six months, you bring it to the store and the genius fixes it for you right there, in the store. Microsoft needs to get support people in the field to do the same thing.

          I don't know if it'll help, or if it's too little too late. People have 15 years of (mostly true) perceptions of PC's being "

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by godefroi (52421)

          Um,

          I don't know about you, but working for a company with that much cash laying around can't be ALL bad. If Microsoft is determined to do retail right (and I honestly have no idea if they're in it for the long haul...), they'll spend whatever money it takes to get it done.

          See Xbox for a prior example of something Microsoft "couldn't possibly do as well as the other guys" that turned out to be lucrative for the employees involved. They've got the cash, so if you can get in on that gravy train, I say, more po

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      I wouldn't go for it (and I don't work for Apple), but money is money I suppose. For many, job satisfaction outweighs wages, to a certain point. There's also the time already invested in the current position to consider; even if you're not completely satisfied with your current gig, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

      An interesting thing is, Apple pays really well for retail - I believe the starting wage is $12/hr if you're just floor sales, and I believe the Geniuses get paid starting at

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Under a certain wage level, making more money can add substantially more happiness and freedom than simply being happy with what you're doing. YMMV of course, and being extremely unhappy with what you're doing can be exceptions too.

    • by eggnoglatte (1047660) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:07AM (#29500609)

      I know MS isn't particularly liked around these parts, but how exactly do you conclude that these people will be less happy at MS than at Apple?

      This is retail we are talking about. Sales people tend to be extremely flexible as to the product they try to sell. Its not like they actually have to use the products they sell.

      • I concluded no such thing, and merely made the observation that if someone is already happy with his job, it's frequently a smarter choice to stick with the current deal. It's a personal choice, of course. That said, giving up a stable gig for an unknown in a shaky job market might not be a great move. I'd say the same thing if the situation were reversed (Apple hiring Microsoft employees).

        I don't work for Apple or Microsoft, and I'm pretty practical when it comes the merits of both companies' platforms
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        One major determinant of job satisfaction is the reason why you work where you do, and if that reflects why people use each company's respective products, it'll go something like this:

        People who work at an Apple Store work there because they want to .
        People who will work at the MS Store will work there because they have to .

      • by Danimoth (852665) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:19AM (#29504471)
        I'm an ex Apple retail employee. If there is one thing I can say about my coworkers, itâ(TM)s that they fucking loved that company. About half of the people I worked with were part time employees with full time jobs doing photo and A/V work, usually for their own smallish firm. Why did they work at Apple? The discounts. Sure the store didn't pay the best (~$12/hour starting) but when you can get that $6000 mac pro / 30" screen combo for half off it starts to look very attractive for 20 hours a week. Apple loved it; they got some very knowledgeable employees to move their merch. Also, Apple treated us pretty damn well. As a whole, retail sucks. At least where I was, the managers were flexible and understanding. There were plenty of product giveaways to employees (in the 6 months I was there I got a free Shuffle when it had just come out as well as a free OS upgrade. I also picked up a week old mac book pro for ~50% off) I'm not too sure what MS is offering, but a lot of the people who were at the Apple Store weren't there for just the paycheck.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gad_zuki! (70830)

      >the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

      In capitalism there is no devil, just your worth vs. what you can get in the market. I see a lot of sharp kids in the Apple store and theyre making what? 10-12 dollars an hour? If MS or whomever offers 15/hr then they should go for it. Both are faceless profit driven corporations who create and market products. Dont let emotions get in the way of a smart decision.

  • by DirtyCanuck (1529753) on Monday September 21, 2009 @11:56PM (#29500113)

    Poach Justin Long, FTW.

    Everybody has a price.

  • by binaryspiral (784263) on Monday September 21, 2009 @11:56PM (#29500123)

    I remember Gateway stores were poaching from local retailers like Circuit City... the grass died on both sides of that fence.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe, but this sort of thing once killed Borland as a company (Microsoft poaching Borland employees), so this has worked in the past for MS.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ClosedSource (238333)

        No, poaching Ashton-Tate (to get dBase) was the biggest factor in Borland's demise. Overestimating the power of C++ was another (i.e. delaying Windows versions of their products to write them in C++).

    • by socsoc (1116769)
      I worked at a CompUSA with a Gateway store in the same block and a Good Guys across the parking lot and a Best Buy across the street... It was fun. Gateway were truly idiots and I liked how they thanked me for calling Gateway Country and then go on a sales pitch upon answering the phone each time I was trying to help a customer (maybe soon to be theirs if they told me the right prices and didn't act like fools, I wasn't commission and honestly wanted whatever suited the customer the best).
  • Somedays... (Score:4, Funny)

    by His Shadow (689816) on Monday September 21, 2009 @11:58PM (#29500143) Homepage Journal
    I wish anything Microsoft does would still surprise me...
    • Re:Somedays... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quantaman (517394) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:57AM (#29500539)

      I wish anything Microsoft does would still surprise me...

      Yeah! How unethical of them to try to hire workers away with better pay!!

      This isn't particularly newsworthy, I don't think it's unusual for retails stores moving into an area to go after the employees of their local competition. It makes sense for MS to go after employees experienced in the market they're entering, I'd expect they're looking for employees from any technology retailer, not just apple.

      Heck, this is giant corporations competing to hire the little guy, this is the part of capitalism we're supposed to like!!

      • I think people just find it amusing. You're not going to see Apple poaching Microsoft employees en masse, for example.

        I don't think people are suggesting there's something wrong ethically with the situation. If MS can pay the employees better, that's great.

        I can just picture the line of black-clad employees clapping and cheering and giving high-fives everytime a customer walks into an MS retail store...

        • by quantaman (517394)

          I think people just find it amusing. You're not going to see Apple poaching Microsoft employees en masse, for example.

          I don't think people are suggesting there's something wrong ethically with the situation. If MS can pay the employees better, that's great.

          I can just picture the line of black-clad employees clapping and cheering and giving high-fives everytime a customer walks into an MS retail store...

          Though it wasn't long ago that there were some stories here about google poaching a lot of MS developers.

          The reason Apple isn't trying to poach MS people is that Apple is the established player, they have their own people.

          I'll agree that most people found it amusing or uninteresting but I think the poster I replied to was certainly reacting with an anti-MS slant.

      • It's one thing for companies in a fairly diverse competitive market to do this, it's quite another when a convicted monopolist does it.

    • by mgblst (80109) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:58AM (#29500545) Homepage

      Did you hear they are bringing out a tablet. And the Zune phone is all but guaranteed, to go along with there new Zune MP3 player, which has a big screen that takes up the front of the player.

      That is new right? Nobody else is doing anything like that.

  • "I used to be an Apple genius, but I SWITCHED!"

  • But why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc . r r . c om> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:08AM (#29500231) Homepage

    First of all this is coming from a Mac user. In fact im typing this on my macbook now.

    Evidently the Mac Stores outside my area are quite different than the ones here. Here they are rather pretentious sterile cubes with one or two employees willing to show you why you really need that $3000 loaded macbook pro rather than the $999 macbook so junior can do his homework faster. 3-4 other people standing around and one guy at the Mac Genius table arguing with a guy that dropped his Iphone in water and expects a free replacement anyway. I have yet to find any employees outside the genius bar that actually know anything beyond their scripted demo, and the guy at the bar is usually too busy explaining something mundane to be of much help if you do not have a scheduled appointment.

    Have the "I'm A Mac" commercials permeated the consciousness of Microsoft to the point that they themselves feel that no one but nerds and suits use windows? What good is a mac entrenched hipster selling windows?

    • Re:But why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:18AM (#29500299)

      I'm a longtime Mac user and I say best of luck to those that jump for more money. Who can blame them? Times are tough and money is important for most people. Besides, there is a greater chance that those that are Apple loyalists who know the products well will stay. And it's not like there is a shortage of college kids for Apple to tap into to replenish the ranks. Maybe we'll even see better Apple stores with more direct competition from Microsoft. I don't see how either side loses.

    • by mgblst (80109)

      Perhaps they are hoping these guys will help shape the setup for the stores. Basically, they steal the way Apple does things with there stores, rather than having to reinvent it all.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:10AM (#29500249)

    I go into a Microsoft store, and what I can expect is... a store of people vastly familiar with the Mac but with little Windows experience.

    Genius.

    • by plazman30 (531348) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:22AM (#29500329) Homepage

      It's all part of Apple's master plan!

      They're letting these people get hired away. Makes Apple's tech support easier when someone can walk into a Microsoft store have someone get their iPod working with Windows 7.

      • by v1 (525388) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:59AM (#29500549) Homepage Journal

        It's interesting that they are initially hiring the managers, and not the salesmen, something which hasn't really been addressed in this thread. They're not after the salesmen, at least not initially, they're going after management. That makes one wonder if the motive is (A) to drain the management at apple or (B) to enhance it at microsoft? (or both equally?) Third possibility is that they don't care so much about the managers and are only interested in hand picking out the cherries in the retail or genius bar area as stated in the article.

        All of this comes as no surprise to anyone. MS has already done what they do best, copy success. They did it with the ads, it only makes sense that they're doing it in the retail stores, best they can. It'll probably turn out as well as it has been for the most part lately... poorly.

        Tossing my wild speculation into the pot, I'd say it looks like they want to see if there's something superior about apple's way of managing a retail store that they can assimilate into their stores, by way of transplanting a few managers over. The salesmen really don't matter in this, it's the managers selecting and hiring the salesmen that counts. There's too much churn in retail to accomplish much by stealing your competition's retail staff, and the gains are too short-lived. Should be interesting to see how this new application of "embrace, expand, exterminate" works for MS... (and I'm interested to see how Apple reacts to it? pay raises? no compete agreements? both?)

    • by wickerprints (1094741) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:30AM (#29500385)

      While this is mostly true, it's also beside the point. Microsoft doesn't care about whether their hired retail staff will know anything about Windows. They already have huge market share. People buy Windows because they are either (1) too ignorant and scared to use anything else (be it Mac or Linux), or (2) they are gamers and have no need for people to sell them a Windows box, they'd buy it anyway. The entire point of these MS stores is to say F**K YOU APPLE. It is ALL about leveraging Microsoft's vast financial resources to hurt Apple as much as possible. They don't care if they lose huge amounts of money doing it. That is why Zune exists, why their advertising is all about underpricing Macs, why they propose opening stores right next to Apple Retail Stores, and now why they are actively trying to poach Apple Retail Store management. It is warfare, pure and simple, because Microsoft senior management knows they have lost the innovation battle. They've lost it for the better part of this past decade.

      Many companies--not just Microsoft--don't simply use their wealth to generate more wealth. They also use it to actively deny their competition from succeeding. Profit is not the only motive in a free market. Sometimes--perhaps quite often--success is measured in terms of how completely and efficiently you are able to punish others for even daring to go up against you. You don't have to win outright, just make your enemies suffer more than you. And that kind of attitude is perfectly exemplified by what we already know about Ballmer's chair-throwing, monkey dancing personality.

      • by dingen (958134)

        Microsoft doesn't care about whether their hired retail staff will know anything about Windows.

        They will care once their own retailers start suggesting Mac OS X to potential customers.

      • I'd definitely mod you up if I had points. This is classic Microsoft business strategy at work. They don't bother innovating to differentiate themselves, they just use pure muscle to try to smash their competition.

      • by radish (98371) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @10:08AM (#29503461) Homepage

        People buy Windows because they are either (1) too ignorant and scared to use anything else (be it Mac or Linux), or (2) they are gamers and have no need for people to sell them a Windows box, they'd buy it anyway.

        Oh please, give the pretention a rest. Some people use Windows because they prefer it and it works better for them. I'm not ignorant or scared, I just want to use software which doesn't exist on Linux and happen to dislike the OSX desktop. At home I have machines running XP, OSX, Win 7 and Ubuntu - but my primary machines (desktop & netbook) are both Win 7. Personal preference, doesn't make me stupid.

  • Good idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:17AM (#29500291)
    I'd love for another company to see my work and offer me better compensation at a new job

    Perhaps this is the only way I wish my life was a little more like Dilbert
  • wrong approach... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bedheading (175574)

    Why this will fail: Apple's staff are only able to do their jobs (selling Macs, increasing brand loyalty) due to the tools they have- the product. If Macs and the software that runs them weren't so fundamentally appealing to consumers it wouldn't matter who was walking the floor- nothing would sell. Apple's sales approach is distinctly hands-off anyway. If this is how Microsoft hopes to copy Apple's success, they are approaching it completely backwards. Besides, Apple's managerial staff typically comes stra

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:21AM (#29500317)

    Lets see, Apple has top to bottom control, OS, Developer Tools, Software, multiple lines of hardware, services.

    Microsoft has OS, Dev Tools, Software and ...........no iPod, iPhone, Accessories, Laptop or Desktop hardware worth speaking of at the moment.

    Now just what is Microsoft going to be selling? $300 boxes of Win7 while Amazon sells for less?

    Once the experiment is over where do the "Genius'" work?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by plazman30 (531348)

      If the laptop hunter ads are any indication, the stores will be full of HP Products.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:10AM (#29500627)

      >Microsoft has OS, Dev Tools, Software and ...........no iPod, iPhone, Accessories, Laptop or Desktop hardware worth speaking of at the moment.

      Zune HD, HP laptops, Thinkpads, Office, Windows upgrades, HTC WinMo phones, Xbox 360, etc. The same way I can get third-party software and hardware at the Apple store.

      They of course wont be selling any of these. Like Apple these consumer goods are props. They will be selling you a lifestyle. I expect MS to heavily promote the "home digital hub" solution theyve been talking about for the past 3 or 4 years. A Windows home server + Xbox plugged into the tv, Exchange at work, WinMo in your pocket, Zune in your ear, Win7 on your laptop, 25gigs of free skydrive space, etc.

      I also expect classes on MovieMaker, Outlook, WinMo, Win7, Bing, etc to be big.

      Essentially, its retail as advertising. As capitalism ages everything essentially becomes the fashion industry. All style, perhaps a chance of substance.

    • by mgblst (80109)

      Well, they have an ipod, the zune. They also have the xbox, lots of hardware. They are bringing out a phone and maybe even a tablet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dingen (958134)
      According to Microsoft, selling stuff is not the main focus of the Microsoft stores. They just want to be out there or something.
  • since when is offering someone a better job with more money a "bribe". get the spin under control please. bribe implies something illegal is happening.
  • by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:35AM (#29500419) Journal

    They're paying people more for their expertise. Why are we upset about this? This is really a stretch as far as Microsoft hatred goes on Slashdot.

    They're looking for retail managers with comparable experience and offering them higher wages. Nobody has ever refuted that Microsoft was a better employer than Apple.

    • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:12AM (#29500635)

      This is really a stretch as far as Microsoft hatred goes on Slashdot.

      Nothing is too big a stretch when it comes to MS hate on SLashdot. It is the rubber band that never breaks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Plus the Apple Stores have been an undisputed success story in a field littered with failure (Dell, Gateway, etc.). Microsoft is smart to hire folks that have some experience with what's been successful. I doubt it has much to do with what OS they use at home - heck, Microsoft stores may very well have a small space devoted to their Mac software.

      I'm not a fan of the Redmond folks, but this looks like a smart business move on their part.

    • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:52AM (#29500849)
      "Nobody has ever refuted that Microsoft was a better employer than Apple."

      I suppose it depends whether you'd rather produce a quality product you can stand behind, or make loads of money by ripping off the public at large. The quality of the work has something to do with being a better employer after all. I know I'd rather work for Apple.
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      They're paying people more for their expertise. Why are we upset about this? This is really a stretch as far as Microsoft hatred goes on Slashdot.

      Maybe you read something in to the article? I didn't see any MS hatred at all. Only what you noted - Microsoft trying to hire away top experience from a competitor. If you want to read something nefarious (or hateful) in that - that's your baggage.

    • by indiechild (541156) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @02:23AM (#29500987)

      I don't think people are saying it's a bad thing as such. I think most just think it's amusing and it perfectly illustrates how MS lacks innovation and just copies what other companies like Apple are doing, despite the best efforts of MS fanboys to defend them.

      Instead of coming up with your own high quality products and ideas, just muscle in on other people's. That's the MS way.

  • WOW (Score:2, Informative)

    by Airdorn (1094879)
    ...and the problem with that is.... WHAT?
  • The employees that receive those offers should be careful. Apple is deeply committed to their stores, they are not going to disappear overnight. On the other hand, who knows how long those "Windows" stores are going to be open? And what are those stores going to sell again?

    If you jump ship now, you may very well end up with a stain on your résumé when one anonymous exec at Microsoft decides (for some reason) to close all those stores.

  • Bribery? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Starcom8826 (888459)
    Since when did paying people more for a job to get them to come to your company become bribery?
  • by BBCWatcher (900486) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:13AM (#29500641)
    Yes, Microsoft needs staff for its stores. But Microsoft's whole "me too" retail strategy is about trying to disrupt and interfere with Apple's business model. That's the reason why Microsoft is trying to place their stores in close proximity to Apple's, for example. And if Microsoft can increase Apple's retail staffing costs, Microsoft would consider it money well spent. In short, Microsoft is all about trying to drag down Apple, not building up Microsoft.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That's the reason why Microsoft is trying to place their stores in close proximity to Apple's, for example.

      I wonder if that's the type of thing that will be good for the sales of both companies. Sort of like having the "auto mile" where lots of car dealerships are. When you're in the market for a certain type of product you go to the place where lots of competing stores are. It makes comparison shopping easier. Instead of going online or to BestBuy a customer might just go to the place where the Apple and

  • by HycoWhit (833923) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:18AM (#29500665)
    Not only is Microsoft helping to bring higher wages to the retail sector--but who better to sell against Apple, than the best of the Apple retail staff? If anyone can do a good job exposing the gaps in Apple's armor, I would think it would be the folks Microsoft is hiring.
  • by CountBrass (590228) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:24AM (#29500689)
    Let's hope they poach the staff from the Birmingham Apple Store: the craptard service they provide there is much more in line with Microsoft's standards than Apple's. The service is so awful there I sometimes I wonder if it's actually a fake store set up by Microsoft to discredit Apple.
  • Yummy... (Score:5, Funny)

    by atomic-penguin (100835) <(wolfe21) (at) (marshall.edu)> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:28AM (#29500725) Homepage Journal

    Yummy, poached Apples!

    Wait a minute, oh Apple employees. Well, I hope they're not boiling the employees in water or cider with cinnamon and sugar.

  • Good for Them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:34AM (#29500753) Homepage
    As much as some of us may hate Microsoft, this is a good thing for Apple employees. For those that leave for Microsoft, they will presumably get better wages. For those who don't, this will pressure Apple to give them more compensation or other benefits and perhaps rethink the value of their employees. Fair competition is a good thing.
  • Perhaps they are paid in the Laptop Unit of Currency (LUC's). Because Windows laptops cost less than Apple laptops (I saw this on TV so it must be true), Microsoft can offer a higher compensation level in LUC's than Apple at the same actual cost basis overall. Math wins out every time.
  • by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @03:29AM (#29501239) Homepage
    News at 11. Go crazy you two. It's kinda cute.
  • by TRRosen (720617) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @05:23AM (#29501679)

    thats like leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers to play for the Detroit Lions (with all due respect to Mr Foote)

    Really like I'm going to leave the most successful retailer in the country to join some faltering companies crazy retail experiment.

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