Microsoft returns to retail. Blogosphere already assumes it will fail.

Last week Microsoft announced plans to open its own retail stores to "transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience," the company said Wednesday as it hired David Porter as corporate vice president of Retail Stores.

Although Microsoft hasn’t publicized the scope or mission of this new retail initiative.  Many reporters and bloggers responded by immediately assuming the stores will directly complete with Apple and that Microsoft’s efforts will fall short of the Apple experience. (more)

Vacant Stores as Digital Signage

MediaPost’s Marketing Daily has an article about how some advertisers are setting up digital signage networks in the windows of out-of-business vacant retail stores. (more)

Harrods goes live with innovative digital signage in window display

Adrain Cotterill who writes the excellent Daily Digital out of Home blog, sent me a heads-up this morning about a new window display being unveiled at Harrods.

For US centric readers, Harrods is based in the UK, and is one of the premiere department stores in Europe along with the likes of KaDeWe from Germany or Printemps of France. The US doesn’t have a true equivalent in terms of eclectic and comprehensive product assortment, but I suppose the closest comparison would be to a premium Macys. (more)

Context Sensitive Advertising

In a world in which most of us are exposed to over 3000 advertisements today, and are enticed to read/listen/watch almost 300 of them, you have to take your shoes hat off to advertisers that can rise above the noise. (more)

I was recently traveling through the security checkpoint at the San Diego airport, and found this tray provided to pass my luggage through the X-Ray machine.

Microsoft Surface in 2011

In my 2008 CES recap post, I mentioned that while Microsoft had some great demos, and did a terrific job of brainstorming customer experiences for a multi-touch interface, I didn’t expect them to be able to get the Surface hardware to market.

According to Fortune Magazine, Microsoft now doesn’t expect to make Surface available until 2011.  I’m guessing we’ll see multi-touch implementations from others long before that.

Digital Billboard Sabotage on La Brea?

It almost happened. A number of Clear Channel digital billboards in Los Angeles appeared to get hacked, in the first appearance of digital graffiti that I’ve heard of. As it turns out however, the graffiti was actually a purchased advertisement on the signs, made to look like a hack. A clever marketing gimmick to be sure, the digital equivalent of the "advitorial." (more)

You’ve got questions… we’ve got answers.

DigitalSignageToday.com recently sent a list of FAQ’s to a variety of companies involved in deploying Digital Signage, and published the responses as a Free FAQ for the industry.

It’s interesting to see where the respondents tended to agree vs. where there was a significant diversity of answers. You may want to take some of my sarcastic answers with a grain of salt, as I had a limited amount of time to write my responses. You can download the PDF for free, here.