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Microsoft readying new retail stores in San Diego, Denver

Based on new job ads on Microsoft's Careers site, Microsoft is looking to open more Microsoft retail stores in San Diego and Denver, Silicon Alley Insider reported on April 1.
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First things first: This is not an April Fools' joke.

Based on new job ads on Microsoft's Store Careers site, Microsoft is looking to open more Microsoft retail stores in San Diego and Denver, Silicon Alley Insider reported on April 1.

(To enlarge the job listing screen shot above, click on it.)

If and When this comes to pass, that will bring the total to four for Microsoft's brick-and-mortar stores. (The existing two are in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mission Viejo, Calif.)

Update: Just heard back from a Microsoft spokesperson who confirmed the Denver and San Diego stores are coming but didn't have information to share on the timing of their openings.

Based on recent messages of one of the folks I follow on Twitter, I'd say the San Diego store opening sounds like something that's going to happen sooner rather than later. I've asked Microsoft for official comment on the two new stores but have yet to hear back.

Microsoft first went public about its plans to open retail stores in Febraury 2009. At that time, the company announced it had hired David Porter as  Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Retail Stores. Porter was formerly with Dreamworks Animation and Wal-mart.

I'm wondering why Microsoft is going to open a store in San Diego -- which is just 60-plus miles from Mission Viejo -- and Denver, rather than somewhere east of Colorado. I know real estate in New York is pricey, but we sure could use a showcase here for the variety of Windows PCs from various OEMs. I like my local Best Buy here in Manhattan, but when I was in the market for a Windows 7 PC last fall, their selection was pretty limited. There are two Apple Stores in Manhattan.

Microsoft has patterned its retail stores after Apple's in many ways. But the emphasis in Microsoft's current stores is less on selling PCs, software, peripherals, games and the like, and more on showing current and potential users what's out there and how it works together.

Do you think the retail-store strategy is a good one for Microsoft? Where do you think the company should open its next stores?

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