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Microsoft Planning More Stores

7/21/2010 08:51:10 AM Eastern

Washington - Microsoft
COO Kevin Turner said the company is planning to open "dozens" of new retail stores.

Speaking at
Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference here last week, Turner
described the showrooms as "an incredible learning vehicle" that is helping its
designers and developers create next-generation products based on end-user
feedback.

"We're going to
keep building them," he said. "That direct contact with consumers in the
community is awesome."

 Microsoft opened its first four stores within
the last nine months in Arizona, California and Colorado.

Turner noted that
the stores now sell PCs that are free of third-party software. The streamlined
"Microsoft Signature" build helps them "run in ways that you can't imagine," he
said.

He also predicted
that the forthcoming
Microsoft Kinect
motion- and sound-sensing enhancement for Xbox will be "the
hottest single item in retail this holiday selling season," and will become the
hub of the living room.

"It is an awesome
experience that when you walk up to your television set, it recognizes who you
are, what you do, what you say, how you gesture," he said.