Will London be the venue for Microsoft's European flagship store?

The company is examining potential sites for its first shops outside of the US.

Microsoft is planning to expand its retail business beyond North America and, according to The Financial Times, has been holding talks with property landlords in the UK with the hopes of opening a flagship European store before the end of 2013, most probably in London. However, according to a source close to the discussions, no decision will be made until Microsoft has assessed the performance of its existing stores.

The company currently has 32 stores -- 30 in the US plus 1 store each in Canada and Puerto Rico -- but has ambitious plans to more than double the number over the next three years. However, if Microsoft hopes to emulate Apple's success as a hardware and software business, it needs more retail outlets beyond the US and in other mature technology markets, not just to sell its products, but to showcase them and the Microsoft brand to the public at large.

As Microsoft's own products (with the exception of the Xbox) are only available through Microsoft's US retail chain or via its website, customers in Europe and beyond don't currently have the opportunity to ‘try before they buy'. This could be one of the reasons why Microsoft's first tablet computer, the Surface RT has so far failed to capture the public's imagination, especially considering the growing practice of showrooming' -- the trend of using a smartphone to compare the price of an item in a shop with the price of the same item online, or using a physical store to make an up-close examination of an item before buying it (usually online). In the case of Microsoft products, all that many have to go on is the advertising campaign and reviews by tech sites and gadget magazines in order to make an informed decision.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lenten procession more than just a spectacle VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Baliuag, Bulacan--This town is hosting what could be the country’s biggest Lenten procession consisting of more than 100 religious statues riding on carriages or carrozas. But concerns are being raised that … Continue reading → …

  • Holy Week in Mt Banahaw: Mysticism meets Catholicism VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files Dolores, Quezon—Around this time each year, hundreds of devotees flock to Barangay Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon on the slopes of Mount Banahaw to celebrate Holy Week. Here, mysticism meets Catholicism, … Continue reading → …

  • Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng VERA Files - The Inbox
    Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng

    By April Anne Benjamin, VERA Files San Pedro, Laguna--For 14 Maundy Thursdays now, Inding Amoranto has prayed the rosary while walking the eight-kilometer distance from her house to the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulcher in the village of … Continue reading → …

Poll Choice Options