Microsoft Planning 75 New Retail Stores to Take on Apple

While much was made of Microsoft's efforts to reenter the retail store market by going head-to-head with Apple, things have moved rather slowly for the PC software company, which has opened only eleven stores scattered around the United States over the past two years.

But Neowin reports that Microsoft today unveiled an acceleration of those plans at its Worldwide Partner Conference, targeting 75 new stores for opening over the next two to three years. The initiative will also include some international stores, mirroring Apple's own recent emphasis on international locations.

Apple has approximately 350 retail store locations and continues to open new stores on a regular basis, meaning that Apple will remain significantly in the lead in terms of total stores by the end of this push from Microsoft, but it is clear that Microsoft is making a significant commitment to the initiative after only dabbling in it for the past two years.

Microsoft has mimicked Apple's retail strategy of trying to create warm and inviting spaces prominently featuring wood surfaces throughout in order to draw in customers to interact with the products on display, while also including an "Answer Desk" very similar to Apple's Genius Bars for support purposes. The company has even worked to strategically place its locations in close proximity to Apple's stores in an attempt to target many of the same customers. And while Microsoft has to rely on hardware from its partners in order to show off its PC offerings, the company's new retail push seems indicate that it is intent on establishing a retail rivalry with Apple.

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111 months ago
Will the stores work well for a few months, then slow down, and randomly stop working every few hours?
Rating: 81 Votes
111 months ago
There are Microsoft Stores?
Rating: 37 Votes
111 months ago
New meaning for BSOD

Blue Store of Death.
Rating: 34 Votes
111 months ago
Oh, Microsoft... You always manage to come across so... desperate
Rating: 34 Votes
111 months ago
The answer bar. Please....They will just sit there and tell you that it is something wrong with the hardware and talk to the Manufacture. Apple's retail stores are a success because they sell what they make.

But hey, best of luck to them. Competition is only good!
Rating: 32 Votes
111 months ago
To enter you go in through the blue screen-door of death.
Rating: 31 Votes
111 months ago
I could respect Microsoft more if they stopped basing their entire existence on copying Apple. Ok, I realize that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but really, copying the retail stores from the look down having an "Answer Bar?" Ballmer really is an idiot.
Rating: 21 Votes
111 months ago
Copying from apple again he…
Let's see how this will work.

Apple would probably like this, 'cause disappointed windows user can walk across the street to go and buy a Mac :P
Rating: 20 Votes
111 months ago
It's been a while since they (Microsoft) first opened their revolutionary and innovative retail stores. They didn't only copy Apple's stores design, but they also copied the formula in every possible way. (Just look at some pictures of their stores to see what I mean)

I found it ridiculous back then, and I still do to this day.

Just another "me too" strategy from Microsoft.
Rating: 16 Votes
111 months ago
Please, Microsoft, just try to be Microsoft.

"Microsoft Store" just doesn't feel right. People won't think you are as cool as Apple just because you have a chain of stores named after your company.
Rating: 15 Votes

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