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One Of Us! Microsoft Said To Be Poaching Apple Retail Employees

Chad Berndtson

That's the word according to Apple-centric blog The Loop , whose Jim Dalrymple quotes sources as saying Microsoft has been stalking Apple employees and attempting to lure them to come work for Microsoft.

Dalrymple further reports that Microsoft is drafting ex-Applers who already work for Microsoft's retail arm to make the pitch to their former co-workers to move to Microsoft.

Microsoft's first two retail store locations are set to open this fall in Mission Viejo, Calif., and Scottsdale, Ariz., and Microsoft posted a number of job listings for the stores in mid-August.

Back in February when Microsoft's retail plans were first made public, Microsoft VARs didn't see much in the way of direct conflict between their businesses and Microsoft retail shops.

If Microsoft is attempting to poach Apple employees to come work for its retail outlets, it certainly wouldn't be the first page Microsoft's taken from Apple's retail playbook. Microsoft, for example, plans for a Guru bar with "technical advisors," much like Apple's Genius bar and its "genius" service employees.

A number of sources also reported in July that real estate guru George Blankenship -- an early architect of Apple's retail plans -- began consulting for Microsoft's retail advances over the summer.

Apple Insider reported in its coverage of Dalrymple's story that a walk-out has been planned by Apple employees at an Apple Store in Lynnwood, Wash., to protest "abusive management." Insider didn't make clear, however, whether that was directly related to Microsoft's attempted employee poaching.

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