The world’s largest software company has announced that they will start operating retail locations but failed to note what products would be on sale, when they would open, or how many they would open.
So, why exactly did you issue a press release again?
While the X Box commands decent shelf space in gaming stores, Zunes are often ignored by sales people in favor of the iPod. Thus, these new Microsoft stores could provide a forum for the company to push items that resellers won’t push themselves. Since the X Box and the Zune are the only (?) pieces of hardware Microsoft manufactures themselves, it will be interesting to see what partnerships they forge with hardware manufacturers (Dell, HP, etc.) to highlight Vista or Windows 7, which I’m sure they’ll want to have on display; it may create some interesting bed fellows.
That said, I’m not convinced that Microsoft can create even a remotely interesting retail experience, even by non-Apple standards.