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Network World - Microsoft is placing Microsoft Stores within about half the U.S. Best Buy locations and creating a parallel online store on the Best Buy site in an effort to drum up more consumer business, it seems, for Windows 8.
These stores-within-a-store will range in size from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet and feature Windows-based PCs, ultrabooks, convertibles, detachables and all-in-ones. Microsoft Surface will have an area of its own within these Microsoft stores.
IN PICTURES: A serious plan to fix Windows 8
They will also stock Windows 8 applications, as well as Microsoft Office, Skype, Xbox music and games, the company says.
The Microsoft areas will be located in 500 U.S. Best Buy stores as well as more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada, Microsoft says in a press statement.
Currently Best Buy sells a variety of Windows 8 devices including Surface tablets but they are jumbled in with other machines including those based on Linux, iOS and Mac OS.
Microsoft already has sales specialists working in Best Buy locations, but will train more than 1,200 Best Buy sales people to quickly scale up the force it needs to staff the stores.
By carving out its own clearly defined space within the stores Microsoft might be able to distinguish its Windows 8 gear more clearly among other alternatives. Well trained sales staff could also help customers clarify what Windows 8 offerings from competitors.
Update includes these firmware and performance improvements:
As businesses move from Windows XP to something newer, HP wants to be their guide, according to the company’s sales and services senior vice president Enrique Lores.
That means many will be upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8, and HP hopes it can turn that into sales of more hardware that businesses might buy to support new operating systems.
Does that mean the demise of XP is a bigger factor than the advent of Windows 8 for promoting PC sales? 'Yes, significantly
more, especially on the commercial side,' he told Computer World.
A reference design for a 7-inch Windows 8 tablet
Inventec has come out with a reference design for a Windows 8 tablet with a 7-inch screen that runs on an Intel Atom Bay-Trail M system on a chip, an x86 processor.
That means the device can run a full version of Windows 8, not the ARM-based version called Windows RT that can’t run non-Windows 8 applications.