Microsoft has decided it’s finally time to open a flagship bricks-and-mortar store in the UK, and unsurprisingly the retail outlet will be in London – on Regent Street to be precise, near Oxford Circus.
Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK, commented: “We couldn’t be happier to be opening a flagship store in the heart of central London at Oxford Circus, where two of the world’s most iconic shopping streets meet. We know our customers and fans, whether they are from London, the broader UK or just visiting, will love our bold plans for the space.”
Those plans include showing off Microsoft’s latest products, providing in-person technical support, and making a hub for the community offering the likes of workshops (to impart digital skills) and gaming tournaments.
Microsoft has had physical stores over in the US since 2009, and they’re designed much along the lines of Apple’s shops – probably the main differentiator is Microsoft’s angle on gaming and the Xbox. And funnily enough, Apple also has a store on Regent Street.
The software giant didn’t specify where its store will be, or when it will open, but as Business Insider UK reports, speculation has pointed to a building currently housing the United Colours of Benetton, with Microsoft apparently negotiating a 10-year lease. If this is indeed the intended location, it’s virtually next door to the Apple Store, less than a minute’s walk away.
Microsoft has stores in the US (the New York shop on Fifth Avenue is pictured above) and Canada, as well as one in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, and the company opened its first Australian store in Sydney back in 2015.
Microsoft Store rebrand
In other somewhat-related news, Microsoft is changing the name of the Windows Store in Windows 10, with it being rebranded to be known as the Microsoft Store (just like the physical stores, and the company’s online shop).
This has already happened in the preview version of Windows 10, and could indicate that Microsoft intends to offer a greater variety of products for sale in the store, including the likes of its own hardware – and possibly other third-party manufacturers’ gadgets, too.