Due to expand on US high street presence
Microsoft is preparing to step out onto the UK highstreet with reports that the software giant is to begin opening shops in the UK.
Microsoft has apparently been looking at the European market to continue its opening of stores following the launch of outlets in the US. According to unnamed sources cited by the Financial Times, discussions have now begun with landlords in the UK, with the potential for stores to arrive in 2013.
The reports are the latest indication that Microsoft is following a similar strategy to Apple.
In the past Microsoft has chiefly made consumer sales through use in conjunction with hardware vendors, mainly by selling its Windows operating system and Office products PCs and laptops. However, the company has been making inroads into producing its own hardware, like with the Surface tablet, which has caused some waves of unease among its major manufacturing partners.
There has also been talk of Microsoft releasing its own mobile handset, which appears to in advanced stages of design. Last week, rumours also surfaced of a rival to Apple and Google’s set top boxes, with expectations that Microsoft will be releasing its own device using Windows 8 and supporting XBox Live.
Although Microsoft has not confirmed these rumours, suggestions that Microsoft is increasing its storefront presence the creation of a more substantial ‘eco system’ in the manner of Apple appear ever more likely.
Unlike Apple, Microsoft’s existing stores in the US also stock other vendor’s products which make use of its operating system. This includes Nokia which has been seen as the flagship smartphone manufacturer using Windows Phone.