On the same day that Apple is hailed as the nation's fastest growing retailer (as measured by sales growth during the first quarter of 2011), tech giant rival Microsoft has endeavored to steal Apple's thunder. Microsoft has formally announced plans to better challenge Apple's massive retail platform with 75 additional stores of its own.
Announced today at WPC 2011, Microsoft said that it will be opening 75 new stores over the next two to three years. This expansion will include outside of the US as they work to expand the “Microsoft story.”
Apple's bold 2001 venture into the competitive world of brick-and-mortar retail is, arguably, the primary reason the company and its products went on to wholly avoid the near constant threat of total collapse that loomed throughout the previous decade. Without question, Apple's robust retail strategy helped propel the company's market capitalization -- its stock price times the number of shares outstanding -- well past $300 billion.
Microsoft didn't provide many elaborate details on its retail plans today, but during the formal announcement, the Redmond, Washington-based company unveiled a map of forthcoming locations, which will span the US pretty comprehensively within the next thirty-six months.
Humorously pointed out by the folks at Neowin, Microsoft used its presentation to show "that an Apple retailer in Latin America was showing off Apple hardware running Windows 7. Microsoft used this to poke fun that Apple makes fantastic hardware but that their OS is still behind Windows 7."