Microsoft 'gears up to open UK stores'

Microsoft 'gears up to open UK stores'

Summary: Microsoft is preparing to open stores in the UK in a move that give the software maker a more direct route to market for its hardware products.

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Microsoft is considering opening its own retail stores in the UK in a move that would mimic Apple's distribution model and bring Microsoft's UK operations in line with its US counterpart.

The company is reportedly aiming to open its first European stores in 2013 and is in talks with UK landlords for potential premises, according to a report in the Financial Times on Monday which cited "one person familiar with the matter".

London would likely be a venue for a Microsoft retail store, putting it in direct competition with Apple's retail operations in the city, which have been in place since it opened its first store on Regent Street in 2004.

The decision to open physical retail locations in the UK would mirror the company's shops in the US, and could also sell devices made by third-parties that use its Windows or Windows Phone software - a marked difference to Apple's approach.

However, crucially, it will give Microsoft a platform to promote its own hardware, most notably its recently released Microsoft Surface tablet and upcoming Surface Pro device.

The suggested timeframe for the opening of its first shops also tallies with a separate report in June which indicated that Microsoft could open a UK shop by March next year.

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware, United Kingdom

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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3 comments
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  • It's probably needed.

    Competition on the high street is lacking .There is a wide open market for computers in the UK .
    conspicuous
  • Can't come a moment too soon

    This can't come a moment too soon. Microsoft Signature PCs, setup properly out of the box, without tons of confusing 'crapware' is urgently needed. Windows phones and Surface Tablets also need a chance to shine, and sell on their own merits in people's hands.
    roblightbody
  • Typical

    I doubt having stores to sell their phones and tablets will make much of a difference to their sales figures, Microsoft is in rapid meltdown and Windows 8 on any platform is never going to be a winner. As a hardcore Microsoft developer and evangelist since the beginning of the 1990s it would have been nice in days gone by to go into Microsoft stores and flick through the various Microsoft Press books etc, as well as be able to buy software and other merchandise. It's a shame that they only now talk about introducing their own dedicated stores in the same year as we entered the post-Microsoft era.
    Les Miserables