Microsoft Corp. said this week that it will soon open retail stores in Mission Viejo, Calif., and Scottsdale, Ariz., in malls.
The move – part of a revamped channel strategy announced in February – has many wondering if Microsoft can challenge Apple Inc. on the retail side of the business.
Microsoft will follow Apple’s lead in appealing to the consumer entertainment segment, selling a full array of hardware and software, including the Zune, the Xbox 360, laptops and Windows Mobile devices.
Blogs have leaked prototype plans for the new stores, which include large pixel wraparound screens and hands-on areas.
Microsoft isn’t being too open about its final plans – only to say that the stores are due to open in the fall.