Microsoft started selling PCs directly for the first time through the company’s Web site today, the same day it debuted a branded retail store.
Microsoft has historically left the selling of computers to its partners — retail companies like Best Buy, compuer makers such as Dell and companies that help other companies manage their hardware and software.
Today, Microsoft opened its first retail store in Scottsdale, Ariz., at Fashion Square in a strategy copied from Apple. Another Microsoft store will open in Mission Viejo, Calif., next week.
“It really is that same assortment of PCs and devices” online as in the retail stores, said Tami Reller, corporate vice president of marketing and chief financial officer for Windows. “We did that in very close collaboration with our partners” that also sell computers online and in stores.