Microsoft has been looking to copy the runaway success Apple has had with its retail stores, and in the last six years it has opened more than 100 stores in the U.S. and Canada, with a few in Europe pending as well. That number is about to increase 15-fold thanks to the ex-Nokia stores it picked up.
When Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices business, it also acquired the Nokia store chain, which has 15,000 locations around the globe, with 9,000 alone in India. Up to now, Microsoft hasn't done much with them. That's about to change.
The Economic Times of India reports that at the opening of the first Microsoft Priority Reseller store in Gurgaon, India, the company announced plans to rebrand all of the stores around the world. There will be two types of stores: Microsoft Priority Reseller and Microsoft Mobile Seller.
The Priority stores will essentially be a regular Microsoft Store offering Lumia devices, Xbox consoles, Office products, and other Microsoft products. The Mobile Sellers will be store-in-store locations inside of multi-brand retail outlets, like the stores Samsung and Apple have inside Best Buy.
The site quotes Chris Weber, Microsoft corporate vice president of mobile device sales, who was in Gurgaon for the store's launch, as saying "We will invest more in India than any other market in the world for rebranding."
He added that India, a fast-growing smartphone market, could well be the first market where Windows Phone 10 will be launched when it ships later this year. It wouldn't be the first time Microsoft tried to woo India. It made Windows Phone free for Indian handset makers before making it free for all makers of devices under nine inches.