Microsoft to open branded retail stores

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Microsoft to open branded retail stores

Microsoft has announced plans to open a series of branded retail stores, as part of a new operation to remake the company's retail strategy.

The software giant has hired David Porter, former head of worldwide product distribution at DreamWorks Animation, to run the new operation.

Porter will become corporate vice president of retail stores, and will report directly to Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner. Prior to joining DreamWorks, Porter spent 25 years at US retail chain Wal-Mart.

"This is an exciting time with our strong line up of upcoming product releases including Windows 7 and new releases of Windows Live and Windows Mobile," said Turner.

"David's unique and diverse background, coupled with his deep retail roots and distribution understanding, will be an invaluable asset in this long-term effort."

Microsoft did not give any timeframe or possible locations for the stores, noting that such planning would be among Porter's first tasks when he starts next week.

Porter will also be charged with overhauling Microsoft's existing partnerships with third-party retailers.

"I am excited about helping consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases, and we will share learning from our stores with our existing retail and OEM partners that are critical to our success," said Porter.

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