Microsoft moving next door to Apple

Microsoft will open its new high-street stores near those of rival Apple, as it aggressively chases retail customers.

Microsoft moving next door to Apple

“We’re going to have some retail stores opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall,” confirms Microsoft’s Kevin Turner at a webcast conference in New Orleans. “Stay tuned.”

The world’s largest software company announced in February that it would open its own chain of branded stores as it looks to counter Apple’s successful foray into retailing.

The company has hired former Wal-Mart exec David Porter to run them. His first act was to establish a 20,000-square-foot warehouse in Seattle to test out various layouts.

It is believed Microsoft will focus on touchscreen PCs to demonstrate its software, and the Xbox games console.

There’s no word yet on when we can expect to see the ribbon cut on the first Microsoft shop beyond “in the fall timeframe.”

The strategy is risky, though. Apple has succeeded in its transition thanks to the eye-catching architecture of its shops, and the sleek aesthetic of its product line. Quite whether software offers the same allure remains to be seen.

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