From the “Imitation is flattery” department yet more news from Microsoft HQ out there in Redmond…looks like the company – flushed with success (?) at it’s anti-Apple ads campaign now plans to open up its own chain of computer retail stores.

We know how Microsoft rolls, don’t we? Apple makes a desktop UI, Microsoft makes WIndows; Apple ships an iPod, Microsoft does a Zune; Apple opens a shop, and ‘me too’ Microsoft wants one of its own.

So, these new shops are going to be placed near Apple shops, according to Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner. Just goes to prove that innovation’s at the heart of the company… Turner shared the news at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference event this week. ‘Course, Microsoft’s only going to do this to boost its brand and enhance its marketing, it’ll still be selling crappy Windows, after all.

The company’s even hired in former Wal-Mart man, David Porter, who is now corporate vice president of retail stores. A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet, "As we progress on our retail strategy there will be scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple. We are on track to open stores in the fall timeframe".

Speaking of innovation, Microsoft also admitted Apple wanted its recent series of Apple-besmirching ‘Laptop Hunter’ ads pulled. On these ads, Turner said: “You know why I know they’re working? Because two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey – this is a true story – saying, "Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices.”

Apple, of course, lopped $100 off its computer prices, but that’s not enough for Microsoft, which – as the DOJ oversight over the company’s monopolistic business practices times out – now plans to keep running Apple down. “We’re just going to keep running them and running them and running them,” Turner admits.

So there it is – a huge company with the majority share of the world’s operating systems plans to directly and aggressively attack its smaller – but more innovative – competitor. 

As opposed to applying innovation or bringing any value to consumers.

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