Alright, it's time to call in the kids and batten down the hatches for a battle of the tech stores as Microsoft has announced plans to open a chain of stores, and not just any stores, but ones "right next door to Apple stores this fall." When Windows 7 launches on October 22, expect to see a few new doors opening, and don't we have plenty of retail space for them to explore.
The chain expansion will continue through 2010, and unfortunately for them, Times Square could be one of the first locations, citing the fact that Microsoft looked at flagship space in 1 Times Square as early as back in 2005. Although there aren't any Apple stores around there, it would be a prime place for their demographic—we can already hear impatient dads telling their children to hurry up and pick out a Zune already.
As far as plans for the store environment, you can see the somewhat Playmobil-ish model above, but of course to compete with Apple, they've go to go the airy, white interior route. This means that only the SonyStyle store on Madison Avenue will remain behind the times, peddling VAIOs and Playstations like it's still 2001.