From there, I'm not sure how anybody with a clear head and somewhat objective mind doesn't come to the same conclusion as me.
Microsoft obviously designed most of its stores by taking photographs of an Apple Store and literally copying every last aspect. I would say "detail," but that makes it sound like Microsoft was thorough in its larceny.
There are no cosmetic distinctions. None.
Microsoft uses the same features as Apple -- products organized for us on work tables, it's own Genius Bar complete with appointment scheduling, an area for people to sit and chill while watching propaganda beamed in from Redmond. It even orders them throughout the store the exact same way Apple does.
At least Microsoft employees -- some of whom look embarrassed to be there -- wear different color shirts than the ones at Apple.
But there's one other distinction that sets Apple and Tesla as retailers apart from Microsoft: Steve Jobs and Elon Musk stock their stores with beautiful and unique products that people want to touch and aspire to buy. If you have the resources to make a purchase from either store,
you get in line to do it
Given the cold reception to the Surface Tablet and Windows 8, Microsoft clearly doesn't have the ability to level the playing field in that regard. We can only assume that's why Blankenship left. You cannot pin the retail failure on him; who knows what Steve Ballmer put him up to.
It's impossible for retail to drive your brand and consumer experience, if your products suck. Simple as that.
However, if Ballmer and his crew at Microsoft expect anybody -- consumers, enterprise, competitors, high school kids -- to take them seriously, good products or not, they have to innovate, not thoughtlessly rip off somebody else's work.