∞ Seriously Microsoft, a Guru in your retail stores?

I really need to stop being so surprised at the lengths companies will go to to copy the success of Apple’s products, culture, and now apparently, even its retail stores. Leaked documents reported last week by Gizmodo revealed that many of the elements Microsoft would adopt for its new retail initiative closely resembled those of Apple. Let’s not kid ourselves, it is an Apple Store with Microsoft products on the wall.

According to the photos of the proposed store there will be a Windows 7, PCTV and Smartphone sections along the walls. In the center will be tables with products on them labeled Learn, Connect and Info.

Now we move to the best part. The Microsoft Store will have a Guru Bar. This must be where you take your computer to have the Genius’ — oops, sorry, Guru — take all of the viruses and malware off your system.

I’m sure there are other uses for the Guru, too. Like, fixing up those nasty driver issues and defragmenting the hard disk.

Behind the Guru Bar is a widescreen video system and a theater for events and third-party demonstrations. There’s also an Xbox, Accessories and Software section on either side of the theater.

The design proposal is apparently done by a company called Lippicott, a design and brand strategy consultant firm.

Microsoft, these are not original plans. All Lippicott did was walk into an Apple Store, copy the concept and send you the plans. Fire them now.

Microsoft must know that copying Apple and trying to compete with them on that basis will not work, right? They didn’t do that with Windows… wait, yes they did. How about the Zune, that was original… no, actually it wasn’t. In fact, they couldn’t even copy that right.

Hey, the Xbox, that’s fairly original. I really do like my Xbox, except when it dies every few months and I have to send it away to be replaced. Luckily they have a whole team of people setup just for that purpose though.

Seriously, Microsoft, be original and stand on your own two retail feet.