Microsoft’s retail efforts continue to grow, with its first permanent international store opening in the Yorkdale Mall in Toronto in November, and now the company has also confirmed that temporary stores will be cropping up across the U.S. and Canada to try to capitalize on holiday demand. These stores will open on October 26, and will appear in 32 locations across both countries.
The retail push from Microsoft will help the tech company push its Windows 8 operating system, which it recently revealed will also debut on October 26. Having stores, with retail staff and computers running the new OS, will help the software giant educate consumers about the product. Now, more than ever, that might be necessary – Windows 8 represents a significant shift from previous incarnations of the desktop operating system, one that finally shifts focus away from the actual desktop itself as the primary place of interaction. Instead, a new tile-based interface based on Windows Phone 7’s mobile OS takes over, and that’s something some users have had trouble adjusting to.
These pop-up stores will help Microsoft expand its in-person reach, more than doubling its existing and planned permanent physical retail reach. Of course, outside of North America, this move obviously won’t have much of an impact. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how users respond to Windows 8 when it gets wide release, and whether expanded retail presence hurries adoption, or helps users get over potential growing pains with Win 8’s radical redesign.