Microsoft is getting ready to launch two more retail stores, one this week in Atlanta and another in June in Houston.
A new store at the Lenox Square mall in Atlanta will kick off with grand opening ceremonies on Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET and then officially open its doors at 10 a.m.
To bring in potential buyers, Microsoft will offer free wristbands to people who attend the opening ceremonies. The first 150 people to visit the store will receive two wristbands: One will let them attend a May 28 concert by the 2011 American Idol winner and the top two finalists, plus a chance to meet them at the store. The second wristband provides access to the concert only. The next 800 people in line will each receive two wristbands just to attend the concert.
The Houston store will open on June 23 at the Houston Galleria, with grand opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. local time and the store officially opening for business at 10 a.m.
For that opening, Microsoft is offering complimentary tickets to a June 25 concert by singer Kelly Clarkson. The first 100 people who visit the store on the 23rd will receive two tickets to the concert and a VIP pass to meet Clarkson after the show. The next 1,100 customers in line will receive just the two tickets to the performance.
The Atlanta and Houston stores will mark Microsoft's ninth and tenth retail stores, respectively, sincein October 2009. A recent said that Microsoft is at odds over how fast to open its retail outlets, with CEO Steve Ballmer and others looking to ramp up new stores quicker, but others in the company recommending a slower approach.