Microsoft has begun the construction of a new retail outlet, situated directly opposite Apple's own in the Mall of America shopping centre.
The move is Microsoft's latest attempt to encroach on Apple's retail presence. Microsoft already has four retail stores, all of them located near Apple's retail outlets.
However, this one is by far the closest.
According to sources, the Microsoft store is significantly more depth than Apple's, as well as being much wider.
The software giant is yet to announce the opening date of the store, but tech news site Electronista speculates that it may be open before the Windows Phone 7 launch in November.
Microsoft is preparing to launch the very first Windows Phone 7 OS-based smartphone, which will give direct competition to Apple's iPhone, and is possibly the reason why Microsoft choose to open a retail store so close to the Apple Mall of America retail outlet.
Apple, on the other hand, has more than 300 retail outlets across the globe, which have significantly helped it in driving the sales of its high-end devices, such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.