As most of you already know, Microsoft is planning to open a bunch of temporary stores to support the launch of Windows 8 and Surface. ZDNet is reporting that most of these 32 retail locations will be opening across the US and Canada on October 26, the same day that Windows 8 is set to go on sale. Microsoft looks like it will taking the fight to Apple with these temporary retail locations too, opening these stores near Apple's own stores in many places.
ComputerWorld says that in all, Microsoft is opening 29 out of its 32 temporary stores in the same mall or center as an Apple store. That probably won't make Apple very happy, but then again, these stores are only temporary, and will shut down sometime after the holiday season ends and the (expected) Windows 8 rush dies down a bit. Still, Apple can expect some stiff competition from Microsoft throughout the holiday season.
That's especially true if Microsoft sells Surface at these stores, which, given the fact that Surface is being teased on the websites for the temporary retail locations, seems likely. Microsoft has said in the past that it will only sell Surface through its retail stores and website, so if Microsoft has managed to generate enough buzz around Surface, then these stores should see a lot of traffic while they're open.
The opening of these seasonal locations is going to double the amount of Microsoft stores across the US and Canada, so Microsoft is definitely anticipating a big holiday season. It's good that Microsoft will be prepared, but we're wondering if the demand will be there once Windows 8 and Surface launch. We will find out soon enough, so stay tuned.