Microsoft continues its slow but steady retail-store launch pace

Microsoft continues its slow but steady retail-store launch pace

Summary: Microsoft still has a long way to go to reach its own goal of 75 new stores by 2013 or 2014.


Microsoft is staffing up two still-officially unannounced Microsoft Stores: One in Overland Park, Kansas, and the other in White Plains, NY.

Both of these locations are listed on the Microsoft Store jobs site. The Kansas City Business Journal also acknowledged the new Kansas store in an April 5 article, claiming the coming store (with no opening date mentioned) would be 20th Microsoft Store to open since the company announced plans to build brick-and-mortar stores like archrival Apple back in 2009.

Most of Microsoft's existing Microsoft Stores still are located on the West Coast. Two new New Jersey-based Microsoft Stores are in the works. The company still has yet to announce if and when it will open a New York City based Microsoft Store. My hope/bet is that could happen this fall, right around the time Windows 8 launches. Wouldn't New York be the perfect place to launch a new version of Windows... given that's the location the Redmondians chose when they launched Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7?

Microsoft officials said in July 2011 that Microsoft planned to open 75 new Microsoft Stores in the subsequent two to three years. It sure seems like slow going if this is still the goal. Apple currently has more than 300 retail stores worldwide.

Microsoft Stores sell Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft and third-party software, games, peripherals and more. Microsoft officially announced its retail-store launch plan back in February 2009. At that time, the company appointed David Porter (a former Dreamworks Animation and Wal-mart exec) as Corporate Vice President of Retail Stores. Microsoft’s strategy has been to open its stores as close to Apple stores as possible as it expands its retail presence.

Microsoft Stores give users a place to see hardware from a variety of Microsoft's OEM partners all in one place. That's reason enough for me to want more such stores.

Update (April 18): More Microsoft Stores are coming East. It looks like there are also a Boston, Mass. and a Long Island, N.Y. Microsoft Store (neither of which has been officially announced by Microsoft) that are advertising for help. And there's an Orlando, Fla., Microsoft Store on the hiring map, too. (Thanks to reader @adamUCF for the tip.)

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Man I would

    hate to work in that part of Microsoft. If Windows 8 is not a big hit and Windows Phone continues to flounder......exactly why will they have those stores? To hurt Bestbuy? To peddle the 6 year old Xbox 360?

    Best of luck Microsoft.....maybe you should have talked to Gateway before you when down this path.
    • there's always

      Kinect demo showrooms :D
    • Good point

      [i]Best of luck Microsoft.....maybe you should have talked to Gateway before you when down this path.[/i]

      I remember those. Beautiful stores. One day here, next day gone.

      Or how about that superstore Microsoft built out in San Fransisco in the late-90s at the Metreon? Fanboys don't want to remember that one. :p
  • Retail Store Pace

    As the IT guy for a retail store chain, I can say that we've added stores at a rate of 10-per year, and it's excruciatingly hectic. Mind you, we don't have the resources of Microsoft, but for them to open 75 in 3 years is still pretty ambitious if they want them to actually be profitable. Let's face it, retail chains across the country are struggling to maintain profits, and for Microsoft to look impressive, they'll want to make sure they are getting it right.

    Incidentally, part of the reason it's so hectic is that there is red tape and bureaucracy to deal with in every state to have a retail presence. This could be another reason they're moving at such a slow pace.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth

    any day now, Microsoft...
  • If Fashion Valley is any example, the project is an abject failure.

    Saturday afternoon I was in Fashion Valley mall in San Diego, and I passed by both the Apple Store and the Microsoft store. The Apple store was, as I've seen it every other time, 80% full with every sales person talking to a customer. The Microsoft store at the same time had fewer customers than employees, and three employees were chatting amongst themselves just inside the front door. I'd be really curious to see what the sales/sq. foot of Microsoft stores are.
    • The Stores Demo MS Products

      Even if the stores don't make money they are there to demo products.
      They only need around 50 to 60 in major cities to get the ball rolling.
      I have always seen them to be busy on the weekend especially full of gamers on the xboxes/kinects.
      Anyways, there is no way they are doing worse than the Sony Stores.
  • Mini-Microsoft Store in Mainstream Best Buy stores

    In major markets where MS does not have a retail presence adding a Mini-Microsoft store in a Best Buy (Apple does this) would help. Keep it to a few products and it would help Microsoft's visibility. Best Buy already has the Microsoft collection of premier laptops, so this would be a no-brainer.
    • Name brand their phones and tablets

      Leave the OEMs out of those markets. Then they might have some marginal success.
  • MS stores make no sense

    These stores make no sense at several levels.

    - Every major electronic retailer is a MS store so why do you need another?

    - A MS store can only show a portion of the products that can run MS software so it will always be an incomplete offering.

    - MS is viewed as a commodity product, people buy it when they need it. There is no wow factor with their products. People view MS as more of a necessary evil than a desirable product.

    MS is trying to act like Apple but they are not Apple. Think Zune, it was an OK device but because it was MS people looked at it as an undesirable product compared to the iPod. The same is happening at their stores, while Apple has stores packed full of people, MS stores are empty. This is not opinion but fact, the consumer does not view MS products as something you make a special trip to see, they are viewed as a commodity.
    • I love the Microsoft store

      Great place to see a good selection PC's (crapware free) in a wide price range. They also let you look at a variety of phones and Xbox with Kinect in action.
    • Why

      It's the same reason Apple had to open its own stores. The retail partners they were working with were incompetent about their products and thus they didn't sell well. A company can try its hardest to direct retail workers at Best Buy and train them about what they are selling, but nothing is better than doing it yourself.
      Jeff Kibuule
  • When's one coming?

    Its awfull being in Brighton (UK, south coast) at the moment. Little Apple Shop, even a Curry's but no Microsoft Store at all. Just phone w h o r e s and pimps.
    • Whore

      W h o r e s

      People selling their bodies for money or favour. Pandering to others needs with no regard to themselves, motivated by knowing no other

      Not used as a term of personnal abuse, but as a adjective describing how something's make you feel. Bestly expressed.

      Why blank it! Particularly as its quite easy to slip these bad words past the censorbot... How very american.
  • MS Store new are me

    The only store that is ALWAYS empty ... even when the mall is full.

    Not trolling ... it is actually true.
    • Really?

      [i]The only store that is ALWAYS empty ... even when the mall is full.[/i]

      Well I shouldn't be surprised. They're probably full of the genius wanna-be's Apple rejected.
  • Back in the days...

    ...there was a DEC store across the street from me in Baltimore at the big Security Mall complex. They had the latest in minicomputers, from the world leader in computing Digital Equipment Corp. This retail chain was created to slow the deterioration in the market against the PC. It didn't work out so well for DEC.
    Tony Burzio