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Microsoft’s first retail store opens Thursday


Microsoft has confirmed that its first retail store, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., will open on Thursday – the day Windows 7 launches worldwide.

OK, so it won’t be Microsoft’s first-ever retail store. In 1999, the company opened a store called microsoftSF in San Francisco, but it closed two years later. And there is the company store in Redmond.

Microsoft is hoping things will be different this time around. The software firm announced in February that it would open retail stores in several major cities, and in July said the first locations will be in Scottsdale and Mission Viejo, Calif.

Microsoft was open about the fact it would be looking for locations near Apple stores – in some cases, right next door. The company hired 25-year Walmart veteran David Porter as corporate vice president of Retail Stores, and several reports said Microsoft used the same location consultant Apple did.

Store designs leaked to Gizmodo in July. And last week, The Wall Street Journal reported the Scottsdale store will show off plenty of Windows 7 computers and Windows Mobile phones, plus feature a 94-inch TV screen on which customers can play Xbox 360.

Now it’s clear the store will open amid Windows 7 fanfare. Microsoft did not say when the Mission Viejo store is slated to open.

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