Microsoft Selling Third Part Software, PCs

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Many had questioned just what it was that Microsoft intended to do with its brick and mortar Microsoft shops after the launch of Windows 7 (with which opening was timed to coincide). Now though, we have an answer, and it’s a weird one.

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Microsoft’s online store (that’s store.microsoft.com for those who’ve not yet seen it) has started to sell all manner of popular software for PCs, including Nero and Photoshop as well as its own Office and Windows offerings.. Clearly, Microsoft looks to be aligning itself to finally take advantage of the fact that it has it’s hands in pretty much every PC on earth to actually shift some products, which is to be admired. Stranger still is the news that Microsoft is going hardware too.

In a move that is, perhaps, more surprising than it should be, Microsoft is also offering PCs and laptops from bigger hardware manufacturers, including Dell, HP, Sony and Lenovo.

As was certainly expected if not outright announced before, the Microsoft Store will also be carrying gaming hardware, particularly Microsoft’s own console, the Xbox 360, and accessories for it. Moreover, they’re also to carry a range of gaming peripherals for PC gamers.

It’s worth noting too that Microsoft has a PC Games section, offering a range of games. It’ll be interesting to see how well it’s integrated in the future, but we’d imagine it wouldn’t be too hard for Microsoft to actually have its site tell users if a PC was capable of playing a game at an acceptable speed 🙂

Still, this is a fairly big shift for MS, and one that will bear closer inspection as the months wear on. Certainly Microsoft seems to be putting together a service that people might actually use, which means that it’s already answering a lot of people’s questions about just what the physical shops might do.

Still no word on when we can expect to see the same effort make an appearance in Europe (or even, if we will see an appearance in Europe). While there is a Microsoft Store for the UK, for now it seems only to offer Microsoft’s own hardware.

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