Microsoft recently closed its Times Square retail store, in a move rather peculiar having opened a number of special outlets worldwide over the last year.
With little to say about its closure, Microsoft leaves much open for speculation, not just on its presence in the retail community, but on the future of its newest products – most notably its Surface Pro PC/tablet hybrid, set to launch February 9.
“The Times Square store was the closest thing Microsoft had to any kind of real Manhattan-based brick-and-mortar retail outlet,” wrote Mary Jo Foley in a column on ZDNet.
The tech giant has only 31 major outlets worldwide, each therefore a strong representation of its competitive portfolio.
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“It seems kind of odd to me that Microsoft would close its showcase New York City retail store just ahead of the Surface Pro launch,” Foley added, “given the company still has no permanent Manhattan retail outlet and still has not announced plans for one.”
But as the Times Square-based facility was reportedly not the most definitive hub for the company relative to other locations, it’s plausible the move was simply part of some financial reallocations in preparation for its new Surface device.
Shira Ovide wrote in a blog on the Wall Street Journal, that Microsoft’s NYC outlet saw a relatively “small line” for its earlier Surface RT launch on October 25 last year, perhaps in light of the public’s general shift in attention to mobile devices, dominated by Apple and Android. One might therefore wonder if the company thinks it’s a sound investment in property while it “play[s] catchup by reinventing Windows for a touch-screen generation,” Ovide wrote.
Microsoft announced at the end of 2012 that it would open six more permanent retail stores throughout the U.S., a few of which were pop-ups like the one from Times Square and are now set to become permanent centers. The firm reportedly plans to have 44 centers total by the end of June 2013.
Edited by Brooke Neuman