The Microsoft Store is real, first locations to open this fall

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Well, well! We heard it was happening, but I’d forgotten about it until now. And as I said before, you can laugh about it all you want, but I think it could be great. Having an idealized Microsoft experience available, the way Apple makes an idealized Apple experience available, will be invaluable to Redmond’s interests. After all, they’ve got a hot new operating system, lots of solid hardware, and however you want to slice it, lower prices. That said, having one right next to an Apple store is pretty… well, bold would be a kind word for it, but you know what I mean.

Microsoft told a CNET reporter:

As we progress on our retail strategy there will be scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple. We are on track to open stores in the fall time frame.

Bonanza! There are plenty of potholes ahead, I’m sure, but I think having a physical and interactive side will do well to counter Microsoft’s well-worn (and inaccurate) “faceless, monolithic software corporation” image. We’re supposed to “stay tuned” for updates, but if they’re smart, they’ll be opening up stores in Bellevue Square and University Village here in Seattle. If so, I’ll be sure to get the inside story.

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