Microsoft Moving in "Right Next Door to Apple"

Tech giant says it will open stores next to rival

Thursday, Jul 16, 2009  |  Updated 5:24 PM PDT
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Apple meet your new neighbor.

"Hi, I'm a Microsoft store."

Microsoft Corp.'s chief operating officer says the software maker is planning to open retail stores "right next door to Apple" in the fall.

The executive, Kevin Turner, also says Microsoft is "in the game for the long-term" and has hired a retail team. Apparently it wasn't enough that Microsoft took over Apple's operating system.

Microsoft recently shut down just a short walk away from Apple's flagship store in downtown San Francisco when it vacated the Metreon. But the computer giant could make a strong play on Apple's turf and slip into the still vacant space that was once home to the Virgin Megastore of Market Street.

Microsoft brought on a 25-year Wal-Mart veteran in February to lead the effort, but has said little since. Turner was speaking to a gathering of technology partner companies in New Orleans.

Microsoft and Apple have been sparring for years. Microsoft's Windows runs on most of the world's PCs. Apple, which operates 250 stores worldwide, is venerated for its design sense.

Apple's popular Mac vs. PC ads depict Windows as a self-righteous nerd; Microsoft has struck back with ads that push PCs' lower prices.

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