updated 10:38 pm EDT, Wed July 11, 2012
Expansion to include two outside the US
Microsoft is looking to expand its retail operations and will reportedly have 44 stores up and running by the end of its fiscal 2013. ZDNet reports that Microsoft officials have confirmed that number as the company's target for the end of June 2013. A couple of tweets from Microsoft have confirmed that the company will be opening new stores in Orlando and Boston in the month of August. Further, a job posting seeking Microsoft Store personnel reveals that the company is looking to expand to Puerto Rico and Canada in the near future.
Microsoft's stores sell an array of Windows PCs, Windows Phones, software, and Microsoft peripherals. The company will also be selling its recently announced Surface tablets at its retail organization. Currently, Microsoft lags far behind Apple in the number of retail stores bearing its brand, but the company intends to change that. CEO Steve Ballmer has previously noted that he wants Microsoft's retail footprint to eventually match that of Apple.
In addition to the permanent stores, Microsoft is also working on "pop up stores" that will appear during the holiday season. These stores will follow quickly after the company's launch of its Windows 8 operating this fall.
The software giant said last year that it planned to open 75 new Microsoft Stores over the next two to three years. The company's store locater page currently lists 29 locations. Of those, nine -- Newark, Orlando, Boston, Salem, Huntington Station, White Plains, Toronto, San Juan, and Arlington -- are marked as "Coming Soon."