It has been known for some time now that Microsoft is planning on opening retail stores around the United States later this year; the announcement was made back in February when Microsoft appointed David Porter as Corporate Vice President of retail stores.
Today the company finally confirmed to CNET News that the first two stores will open in Scottsdale, Arizona and Mission Viejo, California. The company has said that it has signed the leases in both cities, and is now in the process of getting things ready for the launch this fall.
In a statement, Microsoft spokeswoman Kim Stocks said "Over a billion people use our products every day yet we don't always have a way to directly connect with them. We see the physical stores, as well as a consistent online experience, helping that."
But the experience that Stocks is talking about isn't going to be strictly in the United States, Microsoft is still planning on launching stores globally in the future as we reported earlier this year. However the company didn't have any comment as to where they plan on launching stores at in other parts of the world.
In addition to what was announced today, late last week documents were leaked revealing the possible layout of the stores that will be launched later this year. Take a look at the concepts:
Microsoft wouldn't comment on what operations at the store will be like, but according to the documents that leaked last week it appears that Microsoft will be focusing on Windows 7, Xbox, Windows Media Center (Including Microsoft Surface), Windows Mobile, and Codename Pink.