Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

Summary: Microsoft will be opening 75 Microsoft Stores in the next two to three years, said Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner during Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference on Wednesday.


Microsoft is continuing full-speed ahead with its plan to open more brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Microsoft will be opening 75 Microsoft Stores in the next two to three years, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner told attendees of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on July 13.  (In 2009, Turner announced Microsoft's retail store plan for the first time to partners at the Worldwide Partner Conference, noting that the goal was to open stores as close to Apple's as possible.)

On Wednesday at the morning keynote, Turner flashed a slide with a map showing new stores dotting the U.S. I noticed a lot of new stores highlighted for the New England/New York City area. (I've asked for a copy of the slide and for more specifics on locations (including those outside the U.S., that are in the works, but I'm not holding my breath for either.)

Update: Neowin's Brad Sams grabbed a screen shot of Turner's map slide. He gave me permission to embed it in this post, so here it is:

(click on the image to enlarge)

Update: Microsoft is saying that said that the slide -- contrary to appearances -- doesn't actually indicate the location of future stores. The words "Future Stores" were not part of the original slide, a spokesperson said, and was added by Neowin. (I don't have the original slide, as Microsoft has declined to provide it to me.)

"The future slide does not show the locations of any future stores, it just shows the location of top retail centers across the country, plus our 11 existing stores. The map is strictly illustrative, and we are not saying anything today about the location of any future stores," a Microsoft spokesperson told me today.

As I've said before, I would love a Microsoft store in New York City, where the current in-store PC buying experience is pretty abysmal.

The Microsoft Stores sell more than Windows PCs. They also sell Windows Phones, Microsoft and third-party software, games, peripherals and more. Given the not-so-great experiences many of us have had when trying to buy Windows Phones in AT&T and Verizon stores, I'd think opening more Microsoft stores might do a lot to help Microsoft actually move more phones.

And moving more Windows Phones is a big priority for the company in the coming year, as Turner noted today. Earlier this week, CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged that Microsoft's smart phone share has gone from "very small to very small" in the past year. Turner said he expects the Nokia partnership to enable the company to sell as many as 100 million phones per year. (I'm not exactly sure when Microsoft/Turner expects that run-rate to kick in.)

Turner spent the bulk of his keynote doing what he typically does at every partner conference: Attempting to rev up partners by bashing the competition with lots of one-liners. Today, he took aim at Siebel, Google, Salesforce, Oracle, VMware and Apple. Here's my tweet stream from this morning's keynote with some of his zingers:

(click on image to enlarge)

Turner also highlighted Microsoft's priorities for its coming fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2011. He said the Softies will leading with cloud services, putting more emphasis on search/display advertising, pushing hard on Windows Phone, and emphasizing the panoply of Windows devices for both consumption and creation that Windows 8 on Intel and ARM processors will enable.

Like other Microsoft execs said earlier this week, Microsoft is encouraging partners to try to wean customers off Windows XP, IE 6 and Office 2003 and move them to Windows 7, IE 9 and Office 2010. Microsoft's message is that it's an easier transition to Windows 8, IE 10 and Office 15 from the more recent versions of its core products than it is from older, end-of-life ones. One more update: For those asking about Microsoft's store plans outside of the U.S., here's all that Turner said and that Microsoft is saying at this point: "(W)e're going to open up to 75 more stores over the next two to three years, and continue to bring our stores outside the U.S. as well."

More from the Microsoft Partner Conference:

Microsoft execs continue to insist tablets are PCs

Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8

Microsoft commits to deliver next CRM Online release by year-end

Windows 8 will run on all Windows 7 PCs (and Vista PCs too)

Microsoft: 400 million Windows 7 and 100 million Office 2010 licenses sold

Microsoft: In a year, Windows Phone has gone from very small to ... very small

Microsoft makes it official: New beta of Windows Intune 2.0 available

What's on Steve Ballmer's Microsoft priority list now?

Microsoft to deliver Surface 2.0 software developer kit on July 12

Why Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is so bullish on Bing

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos, 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).

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  • RE: Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

    connect with your customers instead of riding on the backs of OEMs who have their own priorities!
    • Consumerism economy is DYING

      More retail stores??? In this economy? Gee, do these CEOs ever check the reality? People are too broke to shop any more.

      Dollar is going Weimar. Food price soars. Energy price soars. Gold price to infinity. Silver price to infinity. People barely have enough money to buy daily necessities so what do you expect from these retail stores?
      • Really? Where the heck is Apple getting all that money from

        @LBiege <br>iPods/Pads/phones - sure seems like there's plenty of money to go around!
        William Pharaoh
      • There sure was plenty money to go around ...

        in nations like Zimbabwe. As a matter of fact they decided to add zeros to their dollar bills to make sure you get enough of it. Mark my words US is going there, baby.

        Better stop wasting money on iJunk to buy some gold and silver instead for your own survival in this decade of Depreflation.
      • It is not about the $, It is about everything else.

        The stores are not specifically to earn more $. MSFT wants and needs the stores to ensure that consumers have a place to try out and learn about new products, get training and support and basically have a great retail experiance (which the current pc stores lack).

        I went to one of these stores and must say, I was delighted with the overall look and feel. It was Applesque yet had a more open and friendly feel to it. The children loved the xbox and kinect demos while I could look into the latest and greatest devices which i would like to procure in next few months. The no crapware policy plus the fact that they have support and a much more qualified support at that (atleast for now) means i went back home happy and dreaming about what I intend to get myself for my next bday.
      • RE: Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

        @LBiege ORLY? Why are Apple stores busting at the seams then?
      • RE: Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

        As long as the cell phones we are blessed with are such pieces of junk that they die within 12-18 months, there'll be people who come back to buy more.
      • RE: Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

        A Ballmer decision *Bing*
      • If you eat lunch 15 minutes later than usual ...

        @ LBiege

        ... do you claim to be nearly dead from starvation by the time you eat? Your post contains at least as much hyperbole.

        Granted I only know about the US situation from the media, but US inflation this year is projected to be 2.9 per cent. That's very mild compared with the 1970s or early 80s. Comparing it with Weimar Germany is so far away from reality that it's simply bizarre.

        The US is in a period of low growth and high unemployment, following a property bubble. The situation there isn't nearly as bad as it is in Ireland or Spain, which had larger bubbles and now have deflation, higher unemployment, etc. A small amount of inflation above 2 or 2.5 per cent will actually help the US economy to adjust.
      • RE: Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

        @LBiege The CEO's know the reality very well. According to the Wall Street journal those CEO's are quietly dumping stocks like crazy. By raising prices they are taking as much as they can before the next collapse, or another words betting on you to go broke, a proven policy to get bailouts(cooperate welfare).
    • RE: Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

      Sounds fine for the next 2-3 years. Competition among others are the priority, in that time more cyber based applications and devices are introduced for consumers satisfaction.

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  • RE: Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

    Come to Rochester!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • I'd venture into Phila for that

      @Cylon Centurion <br><br>NJ? Maybe - but only if it was in a beach town, May's Landing or something.
      William Pharaoh
      • EVERYWHERE!!!

        We need more country line dancing and lame stores where you can't buy anything including the technology of yesterday they are hocking.
      • RE: Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

        @William Pharaoh

        Aren't these the loser stores nobody goes into? Where at best, they give you M$'s help desk number in case you have a problem?

        Can you say; "LET'S COPY APPLE..."

        blind obedience
  • This is a big step.

    Of course it will not recoup costs until 2016-2017, but it's also about rebuilding the MSFT brand.
    • Will it ever recoup costs?

      @MSFTWorshipper ... evidence?
  • Cough, Copy Apple, Cough...

    The more I use the new MS apps (like Office '10) I realize just how much they copy Apple....
    • Cough, Cough, Full of S***, Cough

      Wow you again. Office 2010 is nothing like any apple product out there. Infact I see the trend of copying has been going the other way.. atleast for the past 1-2 years.

      And I didnt realize that Apple invented the retail store phenomenon.
      • Apple invented everything. That's why Apple customers where up in arms

        demanding MS update MS Office for Mac, because Apple's iWorks is so much better that MS had to copy it!
        William Pharaoh