Microsoft unveiled is first bricks-and-mortar shop last month amid much fanfare, but it also made another move that got less ink. It beefed up the online Microsoft Store, adding products such as Window’s 7 PCs, non-Microsoft software and accessories.
Trevin Chow, senior lead program manager for the Microsoft Store discussed the move in a blog post late last month. “In addition to the availability of Windows 7, I’m ecstatic to announce the launch of the brand new Microsoft Store, which coincides with the opening of new Microsoft retail stores.”
Microsoft initially launched its online store in November 2008 but at that time the store only allowed users to buy Microsoft hardware and software, such as Office 2007 Home and Student, Xbox 360 controllers and the Zune music player. Chow says the company used usability studies, web analytics and direct customer feedback it gathered over the past year in designing the refreshed and expanded site. “With the new site, you’ll notice a re-designed categorization, navigation and filtering system aimed to make it easier and faster to navigate as well as help you find products you want more quickly,” Chow says.
The home page offers quick links to general categories such as Microsoft Office and Windows 7, and also offers software, computers and deal categories. In addition to adding many products, including Windows 7 PCs from several major manufacturers , software and accessories, Microsoft has added many gaming products including Xbox 360 games. The site also is offering free ground shipping for the holidays.