Microsoft’s announcement says the mini-stores range in size from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet (which isn’t really all that mini), and will sell a range of MS-compatible hardware and software from PCs to the Xbox gaming rig. It’s no mistake, of course, that the first items on its list of hardware in the press release are “Windows tablets,” considering how badly the Surface tablets have been selling.
Microsoft is also touting the stores as a “great option for hands-on tryouts of popular devices and services,” and this is no mistake either. The open feel and multiple tech displays in Apple Stores, which invite the public to get some hands-on time, is credited as being a big part of the runaway success of Apple’s retail experience. Apple also operates stores-within-stores with big-name retail partners, particularly overseas, as does its rival Samsung.