updated 07:40 pm EDT, Thu August 25, 2011
Microsoft Tysons Corner store opening soon
Microsoft on Thursday confirmed that it planned to open its hinted at McLean, Virginia store. The shop doesn't have a release date but will be conspicuously placed in the Tysons Corner Center, the same place as one of Apple's two original Apple stores. It had already been recruiting for positions at the store over the past few weeks.
Locating near an Apple store isn't a new concept for Microsoft, which has often put its official stores as near as possible. In the case of the Mall of America store in Minneapolis, Microsoft is directly opposite Apple's. The placement is often in the hopes of counteracting Apple's image, whether or not it directly translates into sales.
This time, however, the timing may be as significant as the location. Microsoft will miss the exact May 19 date of the tenth anniversary for Apple's Tysons Corner store but will still have launched in the same year. Microsoft might be using it as a symbolic hope that it will control the next decade of technology just as Apple defined the last one.
It lends support to Microsoft's official view that its stores are, for now, experiments in adapting the Apple retail model to Windows PCs rather than a core part of Microsoft's business model. That attitude is gradually changing, as Microsoft plans to have 75 new stores in the next two to three years.