Can Microsoft Channel Apple Store Success?

surfaceThe October release of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet was meant to inaugurate an “epic year” for the company, one that would see a resurgence in the sales of PC devices. To further this goal, the software designer continued down the path pioneered by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and expanded its chain of Microsoft-brand retail stores, a practice that the company will build upon in the upcoming year.

However, sales of the company’s Windows 8 flagship product, the Surface tablet, and customer foot traffic during the holiday season showed that the Apple-store model has not brought an Apple-store level of success.

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What are Microsoft’s plans for its retail locations?

Microsoft’s plans to expand its network of retail stores mirrors the company’s broader transformation; with the release of the Surface, the company took another step beyond its software design beginnings to further incorporate hardware design into its business. Just as Microsoft has taken note of the success of Apple’s retail stores, which have the most profitable floor space of any top company in the United States, the company has also taken note of the iPhone maker’s success with vertical integration.

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