Best Buy Fighting Showrooming at Its Stores As Microsoft is ‘Do or Die’ with Windows 8

Windows 8 Release Preview from from Microsoft.

Showrooming — that’s when shoppers use a store like Best Buy to browse for electronics or other products before they buy the items online at lower prices. Best Buy recently saw earnings fall 90 percent to $12 million in its most recent quarter, caused by restructuring charges and weak sales.

Best Buy is working to combat lost sales with a coordinated marketing drive with the introduction of Windows 8, including 45 exclusive Windows 8 computers and laptops designed with manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and AsusTek Computer Inc. About half of those computers feature touch screens, which are the ultimate with Windows 8 new shell and user interface based off Microsoft’s “Metro” design language. “Metro” is based on the design principles of classic Swiss graphic design, featuring flat colored “live tiles” designed to be a “sleek, quick, modern refresh” from the icon-based interfaces of Windows, Android, and iOS. The term Metro has been changed, at least temporarily, to “Modern UI” for developers and Windows 8 for consumers because of threatened legal action from Metro AG — a German retail cash and carry store.

The tiling uses gestures to control groups of apps. It involves horizontal sliding of tabs and unique picture password. These area passwords that involve touching or clicking on different parts of a picture instead of entering letter and number in a box.

Windows 8 will be pre-installed on almost all new PCs, but it’s dramatically different than previous Windows operating systems software — as in, not recognizable to previous windows. Best Buy spent 50,000 hours training its blue shirt staff members to show customers the ins and outs of Windows 8. The Geek Squad technical service staff has also created 12 two-minute tutorials available online, each explaining a different feature of Windows 8.

Some tech pundits believe the Windows 8 into will only give Best Buy a temporary boost. Price competitive pricing will be the store’s best bet.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Best Buy intends to match the prices of online retailers, including Amazon this holiday season. The details are not in fine print, but there have already been some price matches with Amazon on cameras at least. Store employees have said they will match prices of items sold by Amazon, but nothing official has come out from Amazon yet.

This weekend Best Buy features an “HP – ENVY 23” Touch-Screen All-In-One Computer at the front of the store. HP ENVY 23 is one of a series of tablet PC laptops and touchscreen all-in-one . It has a Processor – 3rd Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-3220 dual-core processor [3.3GHz, 3MB Shared Cache]