Is Microsoft really that clueless?

Is Microsoft really that clueless?

The Behemoth from Redmond has made billions selling software in boxes. Now — about ten years late — it’s finally opened an online store, leveraging the efficiency of the Internet to reduce overhead and offer lower prices. Except they’re not offering lower prices. They’re charging more online.

Hmmm, interesting strategy. Is there something I’m missing?

Let’s compare prices. Better yet, since I’m pretty lazy, let ReadWriteWeb do it.

Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1

  • Microsoft Store: $319.95
  • Amazon: $249.99
  • Royal Discount (via Bizrate) $222.98

Another example: Office Standard 2007 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook)

  • Microsoft Store $399.95
  • Amazon: $318.99

OK, I realize Ballmer & Co. have to be careful not to incur the wrath of their retail channel by underselling them. But if you’re not going to offer bargains, why even bother with an online store? Would someone please enlighten me?

Or would somebody loan them a clue…

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