Microsoft today unveiled it's "Retail Experience Center".
The experience center is like a real Microsoft store but unfortunately it's fake. This store acts, feels and functions like a real store and was built at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, WA (USA). The Retail Experience Center is a private, 20,000-square-foot facility housing a fully functioning, interactive store environment, from point of service to receiving dock. The Retail Experience Center is also part of Microsoft's larger effort to establish a research facility to better understand and address how consumers are experiencing the Windows brand at retail as they select and purchase PCs. Acting as a test facility, it will give the retail industry an opportunity to provide feedback that can directly influence future Microsoft products and how it sells to consumers.
"Customers have told us they want Microsoft to play a more active role in their technology experiences, by helping direct them to the specific products, services and technologies that will most benefit their unique needs," said Brad Brooks, corporate vice president for Windows Consumer Product Marketing at Microsoft.
Analysts have often called on Microsoft to open a store to compete with Apple's retail outlets in the US and Europe. Perhaps this is Microsoft's way of dipping its feet into the idea of opening up retail stores?