If ever anyone needed more proof of the new Microsoft business plan, the Financial Times has reported that the Redmond, Washington-based company has begun talking to UK landlords to open retail outlets of its devices and appliances. Initial talks indicate that the stores could open in 2013, but that will depend on how well the US retail stores are do.
Microsoft’s entry into the retail market has been well documented, moving slightly away from software and more into the Apple-style business of selling hardware with its own branding. Apart from its own products like the Surface tablet, various other products that run Windows software will also be on display. The stores in the US also offers free classes and training on Microsoft products.
The tech giant is not hiding the fact that it’s taking on Apple, as Steve Balmer said in an interview with BusinessWeek earlier in the year: “the stores placed near Apple’s as the traffic is going to be there, and we’ve got to beat them anyway.” Not content to just copy Apple, they are taking them head on with it’s own smartphone next year (it’s a rumour still but it’s bound to be true) and Xbox TV.
Now with rumours of Google going the same route with its own tablet next year, how long will it be before we see it set up shop too? With Microsoft and Apple having their own stores selling its own products, who will sell Google’s devices?