Microsoft Promises 44 Retail Stores by Mid 2013

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Microsoft is threatening promising to have 44 retail stores by the middle 2013, more than double the 20 locations the company currently operates. COO Kevin Turner made the pronouncement at the company’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto Tuesday.

Rumors that Microsoft was mulling opening its own retail stores began circulating in 2008, and the first location opened up in Scottsdale, AZ in October of 2009. It was also in 2009, that Microsoft let it be known that it would be positioning some of its stores next to Apple’s stores, a strategy we saw in practice when we toured the company’s store in Lone Tree, CO in 2010.

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At the 2011 World Partner Conference, Microsoft said that it would open some 75 stores in the “next two or three years.” It’s not clear if that is still the goal through 2014, but if Microsoft is going to meet its new goal of 44 stores by June of 2013, it will have to open 2.2 stores per month for the next 11 months.

The company’s store list currently shows 20 locations that are open, with nine more listed as “Coming Soon.” ZDNet noted that the next two scheduled to open are in Orlando, FL, on August 18th and Boston, MA on August 23rd.

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Microsoft recently opened a store just a few doors away from the Apple store in Austin, Texas. Anytime I’ve walked past that store there were perhaps a half dozen customers and about the same number of clerks. This compares to perhaps forty or more customers and perhaps thirty clerks in the Apple store at the same time.

John Molloy

This should be interesting as they may now have enough for it to start to appear as an entry in their earnings report.

Going to be very interesting to see how they are doing.


Microsoft is, presumably, a software company (hence the name).  Why, when people are now regularly going online and downloading software, would a software company sell software products in a brick-and-mortar storefront?

What hardware, besides peripherals like keyboards and mouse pointing devices, does MS make?  Zune’s gone.  I guess they can sell the XBox, but it might make a better impact being sold at Game Stop instead.  Even their mobile phones are made by other companies like Nokia or Samsung, am I correct?  Maybe they’ll sell their Surface, but that could go just as flat (sorry for the pun) as Zune did.

Apple has hardware: real physical devices like a MacBook or an iMac or iPods, as well as a many accessories for those devices.  So it made sense to have B&M stores.  I don’t get it with an MS store.

Bryan Chaffin

1stplace, I has similar thoughts when these stores first came to light, but the reality is that Microsoft can and does sell plenty of third party PCs.

The company also has a message it needs to deliver, and Apple has demonstrated the importance of being able to control the way that message is delivered.

Lastly, Microsoft now has the Surface to sell, and that product?and Windows 8 as a whole?is absolutely going to require some hands-on sales time.

Mind you, I still think MS is embarrassing itself with these stores, but there is more to them than I initially gave them credit.



When I walk into an Apple Store, the first things I see are the flagship company products: the iMacs, the MacBooks, the iPads, the iPhones.  Somewhere near the back and around the shelves are the third-party accessories.

The flagship products make a bold and impressionable statement: This is Apple Country.  The same is true when I go to any boutique store: they sell their brand before anything else.  What is different for Microsoft is that they’re selling third party items.  Makes a Microsoft Store sound like a Sears Store.

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