Spy shots: Microsoft retail store plans revealed

First pictures of its flagship store model

On our way through building 37 at Microsoft's Redmond campus for a chat with the Windows 7 team headquartered there, TechRadar spotted this model of the planned Microsoft retail store.

Microsoft retail store

It's light, airy, spacious and full of laptop computers, keyboards and mice, and copies of Windows and Office.

Microsoft retail store window

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Under the counter at the back of the store are boxes with what look like HP branding on.

But in pride of place at the front of the store is a laptop brand we've not come across before – with the logo of a pear.

Microsoft retail store pear pc

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Microsoft isn't new to the store business; in 1999 it opened the first branded computer store at the Metreon entertainment complex in San Francisco.

This closed a few years later when Metreon owners Sony declined to renew the lease after Microsoft launched the Xbox and replaced it with a Sony Experience store.

Microsoft retail store pear pc close up

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Mary (Twitter, Google+, website) started her career at Future Publishing, saw the AOL meltdown first hand the first time around when she ran the AOL UK computing channel, and she's been a freelance tech writer for over a decade. She's used every version of Windows and Office released, and every smartphone too, but she's still looking for the perfect tablet. Yes, she really does have USB earrings.