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A Black Friday tale of two stores: Apple vs. Microsoft

Recon revelations from a Minnesota mall: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster claims Microsoft's store had 47 percent less foot traffic than the nearby Apple store.

Shoppers at a Microsoft Store in Boston.
Shoppers at a Microsoft Store in Boston.
Jim Kerstetter/CNET

The Apple store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis had a better Black Friday than a Microsoft outlet across the hall.

On Black Friday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster camped outside of the Apple Store in the Mall of America to analyze foot traffic and product purchases. He also stationed a team outside the Microsoft Store across the way to see how things went for the software giant. During the two hours he and his team evaluated the stores, Microsoft's outlet had 47 percent less traffic than Apple's.

Munster provided his findings to Fortune, which was first to report on the discrepancy.

Microsoft's store had an even worse showing when it came to sales, as shoppers bought only 3.5 items per hour. Apple's store, on the other hand, was selling 17.2 products each hour. And although Apple was selling 11 iPads an hour during Munster's observations, Microsoft didn't sell a single Surface slate during the same period.

Microsoft has made it a habit, it seems, to open retail stores near Apple outlets. The stores also share some resemblance to Apple's, featuring places for customers to try out products, as well as self-proclaimed experts who can answer questions. Microsoft's focus is on selling many of the products that run Windows, not just its own products. Although Apple sells other companies' products in its stores, like Adobe's Creative Suite, its focus is on its own devices and software.

Obviously, Munster's findings come only from a single location. It's possible that Microsoft's stores are doing better in other areas and that the Minneapolis showing is an exception to the rule. Then again, it's possible similar scenarios are playing out all across Microsoft's retail chain.

Munster, of course, wouldn't go so far as to predict Microsoft's success or failure across the country. However, CNET has contacted the software giant for comment on the findings, and will update this story when we have more information.