- (Photo: Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference / Handout)
At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on Wednesday, COO Kevin Turner made an announcement on what seems to be Microsoft's next big thing.
Microsoft will open 75 new stores within the next two to three years in an attempt to not only sell more products, but, according to Turner, "to transition from thinking about our customers to thinking like our customers."
With 11 stores currently available in eight states, California alone has four stores, Microsoft has lacked a strong nationwide presence in this retail front. Establishing 75 new outlets, however, will allow Microsoft to aggressively penetrate key market states such as Texas, Florida, New York or better yet, the heavily populated Northeast.
This new network of stores in more than 20 states including Hawaii should help Microsoft sell products ranging from popular Xbox games to the undersold Windows Phone 7, a sale Microsoft is so desperately trying to boost.
Microsoft two months ago announced it was purchasing video conferencing and voIP company Skype in a move many analysts believe will enhance the features of not only Microsoft's conventional software products but specially the mobile products it plans to roll out soon.
Microsoft could certainly be following the retail strategy of its arch-rival Apple which currently boasts more than 300 retail stores worldwide and is ingenious for publicity stunts that are bring on the long lines of customers during novel product releases.
According to the Apple Insider, this retail push may come as a result and response to news that Apple sales in the first three months of 2011 accounted for one fifth of all sales growth by American publicly traded retailers.