Fudzilla reports that, some of their Microsoft sources 'confirmed that the company wants to reach out for the retail market presence'. By this, they mean they want to have many retail shops that sell only Microsoft products. The details of how far out this will extend (PCs? Windows Mobile Phones? Or purely Microsoft branded equipment and software?) are not yet available.
While yes, Apple did it first, and seem to have become rather successful in doing so (it's hard to deny NOT wanting to walk into the Apple store when you pass it!), Microsoft seems to have finally noticed it. This should be nice on many levels for consumers, depending how far Microsoft takes it. If they can extend service and support like the Genius Bar at Apple stores, it might be the guiding hand customers have been looking for that have been put off by bad Windows Vista press. Or at least, help support people running Windows on Macs!
Microsoft, Retail, Marketing