SOFTWARE GIANT Microsoft is reportedly plotting to bring its own flagship stores to Europe, with the first set to open in 2013.
That's according to the Financial Times, which citing "one person familiar with the talks" reports that Microsoft is eyeing up the UK for its first European flagship store location, with the first outlet planned to open next year.
Microsoft was unable to comment on the rumours, but such a move would make sense. Just a few weeks ago Microsoft brought out its first piece of hardware, the Microsoft Surface RT tablet, while rumours have been circulating that the firm is also planning to launch its own smartphone in the coming months.
Of course, the stores could also be used to sell Microsoft's best-selling Xbox console, the firm's mooted Xbox TV and Windows Phone 8 devices from phone makers like HTC and Nokia.
If the firm's US stores are anything to go by, Microsoft's rumoured UK outlets will probably rip off Apple's stores somewhat, too. For example, over in the US Microsoft stores are staffed by people wearing familiar looking blue coloured t-shirts, boast 'Genius bar'-like technical support desks and even run classes similar to those found in Apple branded retail outlets.
It's still unclear whether Microsoft's stores - where customers can turn up and buy a Surface tablet - have been a success, but the FT reports that Microsoft will conduct an internal review to find out at the end of the year. µ