7:30 AM EDT, June 14, 2013
Microsoft Corp. and Best Buy Co. are teaming up to create a store within a store.
The Windows Store only at Best Buy, a new concept announced Thursday by the tech giant and the electronics retailer, will sell Windows-based PCs, tablets and accessories and offer support from Microsoft-trained staff.
The new format will open in 500 U.S. Best Buy locations starting later this month through September.
A Best Buy spokeswoman said the company expects to have a breakdown of the stores by market, including the Baltimore area, in coming weeks.
The stores, in small-format size of 1,500 to 2,200 square feet, hope to entice Best Buy shoppers to try, compare and buy Windows products.
"What our customers will see in these ... stores is something totally new and fully in line with our determination to transform Best Buy," Jason Bonfig, vice president of computing for the electronics retailer, said in a statement.
Microsoft has created new concepts before, including 30 "pop-up" Microsoft stores that opened in malls last year. The idea was to give customers hands-on experience with products they might not get elsewhere and expand the company's retail presence in new locations.
Tami Reller, chief financial officer of the Windows Division at Microsoft, promises a "hands-on customer experience that will show customers how Windows and Microsoft devices and services can make it easier for them to work and play."
The in-store concept will have an online space as well.
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