Best Buy plans Win 8 blitz


NEW YORK — Confused by Windows 8? Best Buy hopes it can help.

The consumer-electronics retailer is hoping to capitalize on the launch of Windows 8. It’s trying to lure customers with exclusive computers and staffers trained to explain and demonstrate the new operating system from Microsoft Corp.

Best Buy Co. spent three years coming up with a plan for the launch. That includes two years of developing 45 exclusive Windows 8 computers and laptops designed with manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard Co. to AsusTek Computer Inc. Nearly half of those computers feature touch screens. (Best Buy will also carry a wide range of non-exclusive Windows products, including tablets and smartphones.)

Microsoft’s radical remake of Windows arrives at a time when Best Buy is struggling to avoid the fate of Circuit City, which liquidated in 2009. The company hopes the new Windows will spur sales as it faces tough competition from online retailers and discounters.

Best Buy, which is based in Minneapolis, hasn’t reported an increase in net income for two years.


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