Photo: Associated Press
It’s a far cry from the 300-plus Apple Stores, but Microsoft is slowly expanding its retail footprint with an eighth store on Thursday.Having more stores could eventually help Microsoft sell products like Windows Phones — which can only be appreciated after some hands-on time. They might also help Microsoft push tablets based on Windows 8, which are expected in late 2012.
The new store is in Costa Mesa, in Orange County near LA, and will be in the same mall as an Apple Store. Last fall, Microsoft opened a store directly across from Apple in the Mall of America in Minnesota.
Steve Ballmer showed up to cut the ribbon for the last store in Bellevue, Washington, near Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, but shoppers at the Costa Mesa store will have to settle for Selena Gomez — as long as they’re one of the first 950 people in line on Saturday morning.
This is the last of the stores that have been announced, but New York is rumoured to be getting one later this year, along with Orlando and Houston.