Microsoft plans to open its third retail store in the state of California later this year.
The South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., will be the latest location to get a Microsoft retail store, and will join Microsoft's other Californian efforts in San Diego and Mission Viejo, the company announced on its Twitter account earlier today. As for the timing, Microsoft is saying only that the new store's doors will open in the spring.
Outside of California, Microsoft has retail stores in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Lone Tree, Colo.; Bloomington, Minn.; Oak Brook, Ill.; and one that recently opened in Bellevue, Wash. As ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley notes, Microsoft has not yet ventured toward the East Coast, but may be heading to New York City sometime later this year as part of a six-store retail expansion.
Microsoft opened up its first retail store in Scottsdale, Ariz., near the end of 2009. Since then the company has opened up six more, positioning the stores as places where users can come and get their hands on the latest Microsoft products and services--both on the company's own hardware, and from its partners. Microsoft also offers tech support, training, classes, and computers with a set of pre-installed software and settings as part of its Signature effort.
Comparisons of Microsoft's efforts to Apple's have been made by many, though not in scale. Apple now has more than 300 stores open around the world, including one in South Coast Plaza.