Microsoft returns to retail. Blogosphere already assumes it will fail.

Last week Microsoft announced plans to open its own retail stores to "transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience," the company said Wednesday as it hired David Porter as corporate vice president of Retail Stores.

Although Microsoft hasn’t publicized the scope or mission of this new retail initiative.  Many reporters and bloggers responded by immediately assuming the stores will directly complete with Apple and that Microsoft’s efforts will fall short of the Apple experience. (more)

MS Surface goes live in AT&T Wireless Stores (a first hand account)

The PR folks at Microsoft have to be feeling pretty good. On March 26th Fortune Magazine and others reported that Microsoft’s often hyped multi-touch user interface product, Surface, would not be ready for consumers until 2011. Less than a week later, AT&T Wireless stores and Microsoft announced that Surface would be going live in select AT&T Wireless stores on April 17th (via Engadget, CNET, and BoyGenius). (more)

Microsoft Surface in 2011

In my 2008 CES recap post, I mentioned that while Microsoft had some great demos, and did a terrific job of brainstorming customer experiences for a multi-touch interface, I didn’t expect them to be able to get the Surface hardware to market.

According to Fortune Magazine, Microsoft now doesn’t expect to make Surface available until 2011.  I’m guessing we’ll see multi-touch implementations from others long before that.