updated 07:55 am EDT, Tue October 5, 2010
Microsoft Minneapolis retail across from Apple's
Microsoft stepped up the pressure on Apple this week with the discovery that the company's upcoming store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis will sit directly opposite the Apple store. The new location is designed to one-up the longstanding rival with a store twice as wide and likely more depth. The Microsoft shop has yet to get an opening date and is only listed as "coming soon," the Pioneer Press noted.
The storefront may open before the November 8 Windows Phone 7 launch, as graphics on the walls now show Windows Phone 7.
Previous Microsoft stores have opened near Apple's before, but the Mall of America store would be the first to sit directly next to an Apple location. The company has made no reservations about the stores being meant to imitate and potentially lure away customers and has gone so far as to have a Genius Bar equivalent, the Answer Desk, and to hold high-profile openings. In many cases, however, the company has used concerts as bait to lure parents that might not otherwise have shown up.
Microsoft has been cautious in opening stores so far and has opened just four locations in a year. Apple usually opens significantly more stores in just a single quarter and currently has a wide international presence reaching as far as China where Microsoft has so far limited itself to the US.