Microsoft eyes-up down under for first store outside North America

Microsoft is planning its first physical store outside of North America, which will launch in Sydney, Australia later this year. It will the 111th store worldwide including all of the ones in the United States and Canada.

It will feature a similar layout to the stores in the US, meaning basically an Apple Store but instead of iPhones and iPads you have Surface tablets and Nokia smartphones.

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Even though Microsoft stores are not as popular as Apple stores, they do feature a good variation of Microsoft products including software discs, for those that still cannot fathom downloading Office or Windows on the internet.

Microsoft also has a small area for Xbox in the store, allowing customers to check out the Xbox One and some of the games. HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality headset, should be available at the store later this year or early next year.

The store will be located at Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall, one of Australia’s busiest shopping centers with over 600 stores.

It is interesting to see Microsoft’s first expansion outside of North America is focused on Australia, rather than Italy, the UK or China. In Italy, customers seem to be in love with Windows and Windows Phone has the highest market share in the country.

In the UK, many still look for Nokia devices and the Surface has seen decent sales performance in the country. Even though PS4 is the more popular console, there are still some loyal Xbox fans in the country.

China is the new big market for everyone to be invested in, with Apple opening stores monthly in the region to keep customer excitement over the new iPhones high.