If you’ve been following Microsoft’s Twitter account (@microsoft), then you may have gotten a glimpse of one of the first Microsoft Retail stores being built. Unfortunately, there’s little to see in this Twitpic besides the outer walls hiding the construction within. However, it does at least confirm that this is, in fact, the new logo for the stores as many folks had previously thought. You can also make some guesses as to what will go on inside these stores given the other logos that cover the wall including those of Windows 7, Xbox 360, bing, Office, and Zune.
We first heard that Microsoft would be opening stores this fall from Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer, who made the announcement at the Worldwide Partner Conference last month. He also revealed that the stores would open near the Apple stores, a surprisingly competitive move for the brand’s first retail outing. However, Turner noted that the stores would not be clones of the Apple stores at all. Instead, Microsoft Stores will focus more on “innovating” and promoting the brand than simply on selling products.
As Microsoft President of Entertainment and Devices Robbie Bach told reporters about earlier this year:
“These stores for us are about building our connection to customers, about building our brand presence and about reaching out and understanding what works and what improves the selling experience.”
From CNET, we know Microsoft had said the stores will have both sales and support staff, but other than that, details are sparse. The first stores will be in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mission Viejo, California and will then be followed by other stores both in and outside of the U.S.