Microsoft continues its slow but steady retail-store launch pace

Microsoft still has a long way to go to reach its own goal of 75 new stores by 2013 or 2014.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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.)

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