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Former Apple retail exec now works for Microsoft

Microsoft hired a former Apple retail exec to help it find prime locations for its upcoming stores, according to TechFlash.

Microsoft's retail plans are getting a big boost as the company confirmed to TechFlash that it has hired a former Apple retail executive to help with its store openings.

Here's an Apple store in Scottsdale, Ariz. Will a Microsoft store pop up nearby? Apple

George Blankenship, a Gap executive before joining Apple, was in charge of finding the prime locations that Apple picks for its retail stores. His work with Apple goes back to the start of the decade when Apple kicked off its retail endeavor.

Blankenship is working for Microsoft as a consultant, not as an employee, according to a report on TechFlash.

Whatever his role, Blankenship will be an important addition to Microsoft's retail team, especially considering the strategy it announced last week. Microsoft representatives told CNET that some of the stores will be close to existing Apple retail locations, hinting that it isn't afraid to battle Apple head-on.

Besides the design, one thing that has continually set the Apple retail stores apart from other computer outlets is the location Apple chooses for them. While many computer retailers put their stores in high-traffic malls, Apple tends to choose trendy, upscale locations.