Microsoft to open direct retail outlets in Oz?

Microsoft to open direct retail outlets in Oz?

The software giant plans to take its direct retail strategy global, but is sketchy on the details

Microsoft is taking its direct retail model global and hasn’t denied it will open a self-branded store in Australia.

The software giant is being sketchy on details as to which countries it will target as part of its global strategy. This comes on the back of Microsoft opening its fourth direct outlet in the US on June 24.

“We’re making great progress on our plans to open Microsoft-branded retail stores in select cities around the world,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We have nothing to share beyond the four stores that are already open at this time [in the US].”

The software giant opened its first retail store in the US in October last year stocking netbooks, notebooks, all-in-one PCs, Xbox consoles, Windows Mobile phones and a mass range of third party software titles.

It also provides services including personal training, technical support and ongoing performance tune-ups.

Local resellers and retailers have previously shrugged off the threat of a direct Microsoft outlet.

At the time, Harvey Norman general manager of computers and communications, Luke Naish, said a lot of major retail outlets had already carved out a strong niche in market and it would take a lot of energy to set up a new retail presence.

“It wouldn’t make a lot of sense, unless it was designed as a marketing or PR showcase,” Naish said. “The branded store seems to be designed as a counter to Apple, but Apple is a different business, and retail is a challenging industry at the best of times.”

Quantum Business Technology managing director, Tony Banks, said it would be highly unlikely for Microsoft to sell any business applications through retail stores.

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Tags MicrosoftApplePCsnetbookHarvey NormanWindows MobileXboxnotebookQuantum Business Technology

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