Microsoft Planning More Stores

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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.


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