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Microsoft Reportedly Poaching Apple Retail Staff 375

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
    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.
  • Re:Gateway Stores (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:34AM (#29500411)

    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.

  • WOW (Score:2, Informative)

    by Airdorn ( 1094879 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:41AM (#29500461)
    ...and the problem with that is.... WHAT?
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <oarigogirdor>> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @02:38AM (#29501037) Homepage

    Poach the other guy, it would be much more effective: "I'm a PC, and this is what I can really do."

    It'd be a bit weird. See, the "PC guy", John Hodgman, has actually been a Mac user since 1984 - except for a brief period, which he summarized as:

    My PC experience was relatively benign. I had two machines over those two years, and both ended with the PC, despite all of my diligent maintenance, freaking out at the end, unusable, overwhelmed with spyware and bugs, slowly singing "bicycle built for two" and plotting my demise. [source] []

  • Re:Gateway Stores (Score:3, Informative)

    by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @03:04AM (#29501141)

    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 godefroi ( 52421 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @10:31AM (#29503739)


    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 power to you.

  • by realisticradical ( 969181 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:48AM (#29504947) Homepage

    My wife spent an hour an a half waiting for a "genius" to do a 5 minute phone swap (LCD had cracked).

    Ok, that's a long wait. The first time I read that I saw "half an hour". I've almost never seen lines that long and don't they let you make an appointment and at least go shopping elswhere if the lines are that long? How about this, I'll tell my genius bar story, I think it's basically the same story only I look at it the other way.

    I bought a new MacBook online. When it arrived it didn't work, wouldn't even turn on. I called Apple's tech support and they had me bring it to the nearest Apple store, also they made an appointment for me. I went to the apple store, waited a few minutes for my 'Genius' who took one look at it and told me he had to swap out the RAM, which he did. Then I took my now working computer home.

    Would I rather that my computer had worked in the first place? Yes. Have I spent hours on the phone with tech support from every other imaginable company where they did absolutely nothing to help without first having me do things like "unplug it and plug it back in"? Yes.

    Y'know what, I have another story. A coworker of mine bought a laptop from Sony. When it showed up it the camera didn't work. Not the most important part in the world but it's nice to have your new thousand-dollar toy work out of the box. So she called Sony. I have no idea how long this took. In the end their solution was for her to ship the computer back to them so they could fix it. Remember how I live near an apple store? I also work near a SonyStyle store. Instead of doing the fix there, or replacing the computer as I suspect Apple would have done, they had her wait several weeks for the item she had just purchased. Could she have pushed them to replace the computer at their store? Probably, but it wasn't their first response.

    What I'm not trying to say is that Apple is perfect, but they have a better commitment to helping solve customer problems then lots of other companies I've dealt with.

    "I'm not getting a Mac laptop if I have to make an appointment to some pretentious technician for the simplest of problems".

    I'm not sure what you expect to buy with such better support then. I'd rather wait 30 minutes to see a pretentious tech who can fix my problem than an hour for a phone support tech who spends three hours trying instruction manual fixes and can't.

  • by microcars ( 708223 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:11PM (#29506079) Homepage
    "...That is ridiculously heavy staffing for retail."

    and they can afford to staff it well with AVERAGE annual sales per sq ft of ~$4000
    for comparison: Best Buy = $971, Target = $300
    Average Mall Store sales (for other stores) are around $400 per sq ft.

    ref from 2006: [] "so Johnson then offered some comparison between Apple and electronics retailer Best Buy. An Apple store does 67% of the revenue of a typical Best Buy store, he said, in just 10 percent of the square-footage."

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky