As the world prepares for Apple’s iPad 2 announcement today, Microsoft has been busy updating its own store.
Microsoft’s online store went down briefly on Wednesday as the company pushed a new look and feel out to visitors. The new online store features a slick new Metro user interface. The design is similar to the company’s upcoming Microsoft.com homepage redesign. Microsoft is currently trialing the design to a number of visitors before it’s launched in the coming months.
Microsoft’s Metro design language is an internal code name for a typography-based design languages created and used by the company. Microsoft originally started using Metro in Media Center and showcased a full version in the company’s Zune products. Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, also features the Metro look and feel throughout. The use of the Metro UI on more of Microsoft’s web properties shows that the clean, fast and simple look is something that the company is proud to use across its range of products and services.
Microsoft’s Store isn’t just online however. The company’s eighth retail store will be launched in Spring and located in the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, California. Microsoft recently launched its seventh retail store just 15 minutes from the company’s headquarters in Bellevue. The software giant also launched its biggest retail store in the Mall of America in November. The store, which is 8,600 total square feet, is directly opposite an Apple store. Microsoft also has the two stores located in Scottsdale, Arizona and Mission Viejo, California, and a third store in Park Meadows Mall – Lone Tree, Colorado. Microsoft also has stores in San Diego and the recently opened Oakbrook store. Microsoft’s Mall of America store saw long queues as customers scrambled for freebies and the recently launched Kinect for Xbox 360.
Microsoft will open a ninth store this year in Seattle. Microsoft is also rumored to be launching stores in New York, Houston and Orlando later this year too. The Microsoft Stores offer all of the Microsoft products found through online retailers and inside major retail chains, including keyboards and mice, Windows 7, Xbox 360 and many more products. Apple currently has 222 stores in the United States alone, and 287 total stores worldwide, including 27 in the UK and 14 in Canada.