updated 10:10 am EDT, Fri April 11, 2008
MS Retail Store Rumor
Microsoft is seriously investigating the prospect of opening a self-branded set of retail stores, according to a new claim. Alleged sources near Microsoft say that the company hopes to boost its brand by launching a retail chain that presents an ideal Microsoft experience, similar to Apple's own outlets. What the store is likely to contain is unknown, though the company is likely to promote Windows and its software. It may also use the strategy to tout its own hardware, including the Xbox 360, the Zune, and potentially its smaller peripherals.
If true, the rumored launch would represent a part reversal of Microsoft's long-term strategy, which has been dependent largely on the marketing of system partners and third-party stores. The company has gradually seen an increasing need to market for itself as it begins to produce consumer electronics, starting with the original Xbox in 2001.
No mention is made in the claim of whether Microsoft would sell computers in its own stores or use them as showcases for its software.