Microsoft to open UK retail stores in 2013
There are reports that Microsoft are planning to step onto the UK high street, following in the footsteps of their biggest rival, Apple.
The technology giant aims to bring their products to consumers through building on communication and ironically, human interaction. Since the first Microsoft store was opened in 2009, additional stores are now dotted all over the US – both permanent and pop-up shops – which aim to grow the brand into a whole eco-system. The stores have already started to appear in Canada and Puerto Rico.
According to the Microsoft website only some of the stores “feature a curated selection of the best Microsoft products”, thus assuming others are pop up shops or product specific. A thorough assessment of the various models will dictate and direct any advance into the European market.
Microsoft is notable for its software programmes and will be selling other products which run the Windows 8 software, such as HTC and Nokia, who, according to The Financial Times have a “special relationship” with the company.
The stores will encourage interaction and offer a whole range of training and free classes, their answer to the genius bar offered by Apple.
Microsoft also announced the Surface tablet this year, a significant move into developing their hardware, proliferating rumours of a Windows 8 smartphone. Microsoft may well have to refine their branding model if they are to keep up with Apple. The technological arms race shows no sign of slowing down.