A new chain of Microsoft retail outlets won't just be similar in concept to Apple's - they'll also be similar in location. The software giant will open its retail stores near Apple's existing locations, a company spokesperson has confirmed, possibly even as close as right next door in some instances.

Microsoft announced plans to open retail stores in February. While the company claimed the move would "transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience", many had their doubts as to whether the Windows crew could really compete with Apple in the retail realm.

Still, Microsoft moved forward, hiring a new corporate vice president to oversee the operations. The exec's first duty was to determine a strategy for store location, and it appears that goal has now been met.

"There will be scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple," a Microsoft spokesperson explained.

The company's chief operating officer is a bit more blunt.

"We're going to have some retail stores opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall," COO Kevin Turner stated during a Webcast conference on Wednesday, according to a report published by Reuters.

Other details about the Microsoft stores are still being kept under wraps. The spokesperson does say Microsoft is on track with its original plan to have the locations start opening in the US by this coming autumn.

PC World magazine