Microsoft confirmed Tuesday that the company had signed two leases, where Microsoft will open retail stores this fall, reported CNET.
Microsoft will be opening the new stores around the same time that the company releases its new operating system, Microsoft 7, which is due out on October 22, reported CNET. The company said that retail stores would open in close proximity to Apple stores, in an attempt to encourage competition, reported DailyTech. The stores may also promote customer satisfaction, as they will be able to gain a more knowledgeable side-by-side comparison of the products.
“Over a billion people use our products every day yet we don’t always have a way to directly connect with them,” said Kim Stocks, a corporate communications director at Microsoft.
The AppleInsider reported that the first two stores will be launched in what Kim Stocks called “hot markets;” Mission Viejo, California, which has an Apple store, and Scottsdale, Arizona, which does not have an Apple store.
Stocks also said that the retail stores were not expected to replace Microsoft’s presence in electronic stores like Walmart or Best Buy, but the store are expected to make money, reported CNET.
The new Microsoft retail stores are expected to look extremely familiar to Apple stores down to the Genius Bar, which is expected to be called an Answer Bar or Windows Bar, reported AppleInsider.
Stocks said the stores would carry products “in the areas of laptops, mobility gaming, and software,” reported CNET.
Real estate expert George Blankenship, who advised Apple in where to locate their retail stores, is now advising Microsoft as to where to open their new stores. Blankenship insisted that Apple place their stores in high-traffic areas and upscale shopping districts, reported AppleInsider.