Software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced a new strategic partnership with electronics big-box retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and plans to open Windows Stores inside select Best Buy locations.

The store-within-a-store concept will come to 500 Best Buys in the near future, with 100 additional locations in Canada expected later. The mini-stores will range from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet in size, where customers can shop for the latest Microsoft products. Best Buy already sells PCs, but the new initiative will give Microsoft greater branding within Best Buy locations. Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela called it a "department-level takeover within Best Buy stores."

The new mini-stores will supplement Microsoft's own network of Microsoft Stores, which has grown to 68 stores in North America. Best Buy last month announced plans to open similar Samsung mini-stores in more than 1,400 Best Buy stores over the next few months.