Microsoft to open high-street shops

February 16, 2009 // 9:59 a.m.

Tags: #apple #apple-store #high-street #microsoft #retail #shop

Plans are afoot at Microsoft to defy the credit crunch and high-street slowdown by creating Microsoft-branded shops – in direct competition with rival Apple's own stores.

As reported over on Engadget, the company is looking to create retail stores which will sell its hardware and software products – including gaming and business related items.

The stores themselves will be equipped with all mod-cons with shopping trolleys including integrated computers and displays to help people shop, Surface-enabled displays dotted around to wow people into picking up a Zune or two, and Microsoft's new 'Tags' mobile barcode dotted around the place for the smartphone equipped shopper to bring up product information and downloads on the fly.

The rollout of the new stores will be the responsibility of Microsoft's latest executive hire, former Dreamworks SKG man David Porter – who joins the company in the newly-created role of corporate vice president of retail stores. Porter hasn't been picked purely for his familiarity with ill-tempered ogres – although that'll surely come in handy for meetings with Ballmer – but rather for the twenty five years he spent at retail giant Wall-Mart before joining Dreamworks back in 2007.

Porter claims to be “excited about helping consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases” and wants to reassure the company's many OEM and retail space customers that anything the company learns from running its own stores will be shared out.

Can you imagine wanting to shop in a Microsoft-branded high-street shop, or should the company leave the flashy store fronts to Apple? Share your thoughts over in the forum.
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