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Microsoft Continues Its Retail Sprawl

Evan Niu, CFA
December 26, 2012

Just another one of the ways that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has been expressing its Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) envy in recent years is the build-out of its Microsoft Store retail footprint. The first one opened back in October 2009 and immediately invoked comparisons to Apple's own storefronts. The retail push is an important step for Microsoft in its quest of increased vertical integration.

Microsoft has now said that it opened 51 new stores throughout the year, including its first international locations. That figure includes both full retail locations as well as smaller "specialty" stores.

That's also more stores than Apple opened this year. The Mac maker set up 33 new retail stores during its fiscal 2012, although Apple's retail network is more mature