Microsoft Stores Could Open In UK Next Year

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Microsoft wants to sell Windows phones, tablets and PCs at own outlets if US stores are successful

Microsoft is exploring the possibility of opening its own retail stores in Europe to sell its expanding range of products.  According to the FT, the company has spoken to property landlords in the UK and hopes to open its first British outlets in 2013.The final decision depends on the performance of its permanent stores and temporary pop-ups in the US, such as those in Seattle and Boston (pictured). Microsoft has also opened outlets outside the country in Canada and Puerto Rico.

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Microsoft stores coming in 2013?

The existing stores offer free classes and training sessions for Microsoft software as it seeks to preach the benefits of devices and PCs operating in the ‘Microsoft ecosystem’. An internal review will be conducted at the end of the year to see how well the stores have done and which formats have been the most successful.

Microsoft’s expansion coincides with an increased focus on producing its own hardware and would mimic Apple’s retail stores which place as much importance on showcasing its products as selling them. Microsoft’s stores are slightly different in that they also sell products from other manufacturers, such as Windows Phone 8 devices by Nokia and HTC as well as PCs and tablets.

The company launched its own Windows 8-based tablet, the Microsoft Surface, in the UK last month and is reported to be testing its own Windows Phone 8 smartphone, following the launch of the mobile operating system last month.

Microsoft is also preparing a TV set-top box that would run Windows 8 and be able to play games from the Xbox Live Arcade store.

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