Microsoft to open 75 retail stores in the next 3 years

Microsoft_Store_Logo

Microsoft_Store_LogoMicrosoft on Wednesday announced that it will open 75 physical retail stores in the next two to three years. COO Kevin Turner made the announcement at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference.

The big M is clearly taking notes from Apple, which has more than 230 retail locations in the U.S. In the first quarter of 2011, Apple had an eye-popping $3.2 billion in retail sales, and most of that came from the U.S., according a report released today.

Microsoft, in comparison, has only opened 11 retail stores in the last two years, with four of those in California. The most recent location opened June 30 in Los Angeles.

The new stores will be concentrated in the northeast region of the U.S., but the map indicates a healthy sampling of stores hitting major cities around the country, too. Florida, Texas, Washington, Missouri, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and even Hawaii will see stores opened in their large cities. California will also see many stores added.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to share any further details outside of what Turner announced or a company rationale behind the planned expansion.

Microsoft retail outlets carry PCs running Windows, Windows Software, Xbox 360s, Zune media players, and Windows Phones. Speaking of Windows Phones, it’s likely Microsoft is launching these stores as a way to get Windows Phone 7 devices to more customers.

The map of proposed future locations is below: