San Francisco - Microsoft has long been accused of copying the computer innovations of its smaller competitor Apple. Now it is also copying parts of Apple's retail model.
The software giant plans to start its own chain of retail stores highlighting its products, following the success of Apple's 251 stores in engaging customers and boosting Apple's profile.
The Microsoft announcement on Friday did not include details of the retail rollout but it will not be the company's first attempt to open up a retail shop. The company opened a Microsoft store in Sony's Metreon centre in San Francisco in 1999, in which it showcased technology from Microsoft and its partners, but the store closed in 2002.