In the coming weeks, Microsoft is planning to open more brick-and-mortar retail stores, including one in Houston in the Houston Galleria this summer.
Currently, Microsoft operates Microsoft Stores in Scottsdale, Ariz., Mission Viejo, Calif., Lone Tree, Colo., San Diego, Calif., Oak Brook, Ill., Bloomington, Minn., Bellevue, Wash., and Costa Mesa, Calif. The company is on the verge of opening the doors of its first East Coast store -- in Lennox Square in Atlanta. And according to a Microsoft Retail Store job listing, Los Angeles is on the short list to get a Microsoft Store.
Update: WinRumors.com says Microsoft will announce its plans for the Los Angeles store next week.
Update No. 2 (April 27) The Atlanta store is opening on May 27, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft kicked off its retail-store launch plans 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 officials said they'd use the stores to sell Microsoft consumer products, including Windows PCs, Office, Xbox, peripherals, games and phones. The plan was and remains to open the stores as close to Apple Stores as possible.
There is still no Microsoft New York store. Apple was working to open yet another megastore in Manhattan -- in Grand Central Station. But the latest word is those plans have been shelved. I've heard rumors Microsoft might open a New York store this year, but so far, nothing more concrete than that.