Microsoft to permanently close its retail stores

Microsoft is to shut shop on the high streets and malls of America, permanently closing its 116 retail stores. Only 10 were overseas; flagship stores in New York City, London, Sydney, and Redmond will be remain as showrooms that do not sell the products. There will be no layoffs, Microsoft reports.

Alarm bells rang when Microsoft shied from reopening stores as states gave up on Covid lockdowns, but quitting for good wasn't expected. Chris Welch:

The decision partially explains why Microsoft had yet to reopen a single store after they were all closed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Microsoft told The Verge that its "approach for re-opening Microsoft Store locations is measured and cautious, guided by monitoring global data, listening to public health and safety experts, and tracking local government restrictions." The company declined to offer an update on when any stores might open again.

They were nice stores, but I have to admit that being able to check out a Microsoft Surface Studio in person showed how bad its pen latency was compared to iPad Pro and saved me from dropping thousands of dollars.