You've got to hand it to Microsoft: They haven't given up on their quest to match Apple's retail expansion, and judging from today's Morning Report, the folks in Redmond will soon make Manhattan their next battle zone. We've also got an update on what one of the creators of the iPad are doing now, as well as Apple thumping its chest on European jobs, so click on and read all about it...
Microsoft Eyes "Flashy" New Store Near Apple's NYC Cube
New York City may soon get its first Microsoft retail store, and Redmond will have familiar neighbors. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Microsoft is in negotiations for property at 677 Fifth Ave., a mere "stone's throw" from Apple's iconic flagship store, which is familiar to Manhattanites for its cubed glass design.
By comparison, Microsoft apparently plans to occupy a two-story, 8,700-square-foot space formerly owned by Fendi, which is said to be among the "priciest in the nation" (as high as $3,500 per square foot!). Microsoft has yet to confirm the plans, but no one would be too surprised, given the Windows maker's penchant for "setting up shop near Apple stores, where it can go head to head with its competitor at close proximity."
Apple Boasts 500K U.K. Jobs from App Store Alone
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Apple appears to be going on a "charm offensive" in the European Union, touting on its U.K. website how the App Store has created nearly half a million jobs that didn't exist before. The App Store makes up a big chunk of Apple's 629,000 "jobs created or supported" by Cupertino in Europe, with 16,000 actual employees and 4,500 suppliers across Europe.
“Roughly 500,000 jobs have been created in Europe that are directly attributable to the App Store," Apple explained on its website. "Of the more than $20 billion developers have earned from App Store sales worldwide, $6.5 billion has been paid to European developers. In 2014 the overall app economy is expected to deliver $16.5 billion in revenues to EU GDP, and this contribution is growing at a rate of 12% per year.”
Former iPad Product Manager Joins Misfit Wearables
VentureBeat reported this week that a former Apple senior engineering manager credited with creating the iPad has jumped ship to Mistfit Wearables, the company best known for its Shine health tracking device. Josh Banko may not be a household name, but the former Manager of iPad Product Design — who also worked on the cylindrical design of the new Mac Pro — plans to apply some of what he learned at Apple to a "big hardware push" being planned at Misfit.
“One thing I learned from Apple was to push the limits of things, we didn’t constrain people,” Banko told VentureBeat. “We want to have that same mindset [at Misfit]. We’ll do anything that we feel is compelling to consumers, and we’ll execute so it’s the most delightful product they know.”