​Microsoft to open flagship store in Sydney

Microsoft is set to open its first flagship store outside of North America in Sydney, in time for the Christmas shopping period.

Microsoft has announced that it will be opening its first flagship store outside of North America, in Sydney.

The store will be located at Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall over two levels, next to the recently opened Sephora store. The store will sell a range of Microsoft products, including Windows PCs, Surface devices, Windows Phones, Xbox One consoles, and Office software.

In addition, the store will feature an Answer Desk, which will allow customers to bring their questions, troubleshooting, repairs, and support for all Microsoft hardware and software to one place, including Windows products that were bought elsewhere.

The company has also pitched the new store as more than just a retail store, as it will host community events, offer training workshops, and support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

While no opening date has been set, the store is expected to open in time for the Christmas rush.

Jonathan Adashek, general manager of communications strategy for Microsoft stores, said that opening a flagship store in Sydney has been in the planning for quite some time; it was just a matter of finding the right space.

Microsoft already has more than 110 stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, as well as 17 store-in-store locations in China, and online stores in 189 countries.

David Porter, Microsoft worldwide retail stores corporate vice president, said the announcement of the Sydney flagship store will complement the company's forthcoming flagship Manhattan store.

"We have built an online presence across 189 countries, and we will see aggressive online expansion over the next year in markets such as South Africa, Thailand, and Korea, including selling Microsoft hardware devices such as Surface and Xbox One.

"Additionally, we will open physical store locations across North America in the coming months. This continues to be an exciting time for our business, but, more importantly, our customers -- and we're just getting started."

The opening of the flagship store will follow suit with other tech giants, including Apple and Samsung, both of which previously opened stores in Sydney.

Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow highlighted that the store opening will mark the company's ongoing investment in the country. Last October, Microsoft launched Azure Geo in Australia, and Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online was recently made available to local datacentres.

Earlier this year, Microsoft opened another innovation centre in South Australia.

Microsoft, along with Apple and Google, recently admitted during a Senate inquiry into tax avoidance that it is being audited by the Australian Taxation Office.