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In a strong attempt to recreate the success of our beloved super-sexy Apple Stores, Microsoft has employed the help of Apple's former real estate chief George Blankenship. Blankenship was responsible for the some of the early retail store launches for Apple.
As an expert in scouting out prime retail locations, Blankenship spent much of his career working along side the Gap until he later joined the Apple team. Now he is teaming up with Microsoft to help launch their new retail push. As a consultant, Microsoft is probably hoping to benefit from Blankership's retail experience.
Microsoft hasn't made any announcements as to where they plan on opening their first retail stores, but they have begun to post openings on their web site, announcing the need for store managers who "will lead [a] highly knowledgeable and friendly team..."
Microsoft first made public its retail goals in February when naming former DreamWorks Animation and Wal-Mart executive David Porter as its corporate V.P of retail stores, but initially down played the rumors of a Microsoft shop; until this past week when CEO Kevin Turner said that they would be opening some Microsoft stores next to, or near, existing Apple Stores. This will allow Microsoft to provide a full on Microsoft sponsored showcase for Windows 7... and Zune.