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We really weren’t expecting to see an announcement like this.Microsoft is planning a “worldwide” rollout of retail stores and has hired David Porter, a former Wal-Mart executive who spent 25 years at the retailer. Beyond that, details are sketchy, but you can read Microsoft’s press release here.Of course, comparisons are already being made to Apple’s stores, which have enjoyed wide success, by all accounts, until recently. Why wouldn’t Microsoft want more control over its brand, like its smaller competitor?But what about this timing? Is it just crazy to start a worldwide rollout of a new retail chain in a recession when most outfits are closing stores, or is Microsoft dead on, considering that it might be able to score more affordable leases?

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