Robbie Bach on stores, Windows Mobile, Zune

Microsoft's entertainment unit boss visited a high school and sat down with Seattle-area reporters on Friday, fielding questions on several hot topics.

Microsoft Entertainment unit president Robbie Bach fielded some tough questions on Friday.

Then, after that go-around with the crowd of high schoolers, Bach signed up for round two and spoke with a few Seattle-area reporters. In the follow-up with the reporters, Bach discussed upcoming updates to Windows Mobile as well as the company's just-announced move into retail and its Zune efforts .

Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division
Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division Microsoft

I wasn't there, but enjoyed the team coverage from TechFlash's Todd Bishop, The Seattle Times' Ben Romano, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Joe Tartikoff.

Bach told the reporters that the move into retail, unlike Apple's, is more about brand-building than distribution.

"Apple's approach was about distribution. People forget that when they entered their stores...they didn't have distribution for Macintoshes, so they created their own distribution,," Bach said, according to the The Seattle Times. "We have plenty of distribution. These stores for us are about building our connection to customers, about building our brand presence and about reaching out and understanding what works and what improves the selling experience."

As for the Zune, Bach wouldn't talk specifics of whether touch is coming to the new players (expected this fall), but he did talk about the overall importance of the touch interface throughout Microsoft.

"Independent of specific plans for any specific product, you should just assume over time that that's going to become part of the products that we produce," Back said, again according to the Times. "And, you know, specific timing and all those things, I'll leave aside, but it is a huge trend. And once you have something like touch or voice to interact with, you wonder why you did it the old way."

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