Microsoft announced plans Thursday to open its own chain of branded stores as it looks to catch up with rival Apple's successful move into retailing.
The company did not say how many stores it was looking
to open, or when, or which of its products would be on
That is to be decided by David Porter, a former
DreamWorks Animation executive, which Microsoft named
as its new vice president of retail stores.
"I am delighted to welcome David to Microsoft," Turner
said. "This is an exciting time with our strong lineup
of upcoming product releases including Windows 7 and
new releases of Windows Live and Windows Mobile. We?re
also working hard to transform the PC and Microsoft
buying experience at retail by improving the
articulation and demonstration of the Microsoft
innovation and value proposition so that it?s clear,
simple and straightforward for consumers everywhere.
David?s unique and diverse background, coupled with
his deep retail roots and distribution understanding,
will be an invaluable asset in this long-term effort."
"There are tremendous opportunities ahead for
Microsoft to create a world-class shopping experience
for our customers," Porter said. "I am excited about
helping consumers make more informed decisions about
their PC and software purchases, and we?ll share
learnings from our stores with our existing retail and
OEM partners that are critical to our success."
The long-rumored move to open stores comes as consumer
spending is under severe pressure due to the
Microsoft, bruised by the poor reception of its latest
Vista operating system, is facing increased
competition from Apple, which is eating into the
personal computer market and dominates the personal
digital music player market with its iPod line.
Apple's stylish stores, now numbering more than 200
worldwide, have been crucial in attracting customers
in recent years.