Looking to jump-start their Windows 8-based product lineup, Microsoft (MSFT) announced it will open “store-within-a-store” Windows shops at 500 Best Buy (BBY) locations in the United States and 100 more Best Buy and Future Shop locations in Canada.
The sites, which will encompass between 1200 to 2000 square feet of space, will showcase a range of Windows-based pc’s, tablets, mobile phones, Microsoft Office products and XBox consoles. A separate section will focus on it’s Surface tablet product.
Best Buy will allocate around 2,000 employees to the in-store sites, with training provided by Microsoft. The company has already opened up three locations with the Microsoft sites, and plans a broad roll-out over the summer in order to be fully ramped up by the start of the new school year.
Best Buy already carries both Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF) products in a similar concept, however on average, the Microsoft shops will be ten times larger than the Apple shops and five times larger than those carrying Samsung products.
As part of the agreement Best Buy will also offer an online version of the concept, where consumers can find out information on the products in addition to purchasing those products through the website.
Both Microsoft and Best Buy were trading down in early market activity on the news.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor. As of this writing he was long MSFT and AAPL.