Microsoft Store opens its first international site
Microsoft opened their first international retail operation on Friday (16 November 2012), having branched out into Canada. The new store, which is located at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, is the 31st Microsoft Store to open overall and the first one outside of the USA. A 32nd store is scheduled to start trading in Leavenworth, Kansas on 17 December 2012.
The Toronto store was flooded with cheering Microsoft employees, simply known as "Technical Advisors", as it was opened to some fanfare. American rock band Train offered up some songs whilst NHL legend Wayne Gretzky was on hand to lend some PR gravitas to proceedings.
Initial reactions have compared the store, unsurprisingly, to being similar to an Apple store but with a wider range of products; Microsoft stores sell their own hardware, such as the Microsoft Surface, but also offer devices from Dell, HP, Acer, Sony and Lenovo.
Microsoft have not stated whether they plan to expand their retail units further to such regions as Europe or Asia in the near future and still lag by quite some distance behind arch-rivals Apple, who currently operate 394 stores in 14 different countries worldwide including in important markets such as China, Japan and Australia.