Microsoft is launching itself directly into the retail sector, with plans to open a slew of its own official stores.
The new division will be headed up by David Porter, 25-year Wall Mart veteran and former head of worldwide product distribution at DreamWorks Animation SKG.
The stores will initially appear in the US. It is currently unclear as yet if the operation will go global, or what specific product it will carry – though Microsoft said the stores may include various PCs and mobile devices running Windows as well as Xbox 360 consoles, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"The purpose of opening these stores is to create deeper engagement with consumers and continue to learn firsthand about what they want and how they buy," Microsoft said in a statement.
It is thought the move could be in response to rival Apple’s retail division, which has achieved a great deal of success since it launched in 2001.
Stay tuned to PC Retail to read more about this story as it emerges.