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Microsoft readies more West Coast retail stores

Microsoft is opening another retail store in California, company officials said today. The new Microsoft store will be in Costa Mesa, Calif., at the South Coast Plaza Shopping Center -- where Apple already has a store.

Microsoft is opening another brick-and-mortar retail store in California, company officials said today.

The new Microsoft store will be in Costa Mesa, Calif., at the South Coast Plaza Shopping Center, according to a tweet from the Microsoft consumer-products account on Twitter:

(And yes, in case you were wondering, there's an Apple store in the same mall.)

I've asked Microsoft for a specific opening date for the Costa Mesa store, but no word back yet. and was told that beyond "spring," there was no more specific time frame the company will provide for now.

As TechFlash discovered earlier this year, Microsoft also is planning to open a second retail store in Washington state. There's already a store in Bellevue, Wash.; it seems Seattle also will be getting a Microsoft store in the U Village mall, across from the Apple store there.

There are still no East Coast Microsoft stores. As I noted, I have heard a rumor that they are coming, with New York City allegedly being on the short list. But for now, Microsoft is continuing to open stores only on the Western side of the U.S.

Currently, Microsoft has stores in San Diego, Calif.; Mission Viejo, Calif.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Lone Tree, Colo.; Oak Brook, Ill.; Bloomington, Minn.; and Bellevue, Wash. Microsoft’s strategy with these stores has been to locate close to Apple stores in each city and use the stores as a showcase for new PCs, Xboxes, Kinects, Windows Phones, games, apps and other consumer goods.

In (loosely) related news, Microsoft is testing a new version of the Microsoft.com home page that allows users to select whether they want a "consumer" or a "business" user view of the page.