Microsoft to launch retail chain

DreamWorks, Wal-Mart veteran David Porter to oversee

NEW YORK -- Microsoft Corp. is looking to launch its own chain of retail stores in a move mindful of Apple's strategy.

The software giant said Friday morning that it has hired DreamWorks Animation and Wal-Mart veteran David Porter as corporate vp of retail stores to oversee the new business.

Porter was most recently head of worldwide product distribution at DreamWorks Animation and worked as a Wal-Mart executive for 25 years.

"There are tremendous opportunities ahead for Microsoft to create a world-class shopping experience for our customers," Porter said. "I am excited about helping consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases, and we'll share learnings from our stores with our existing retail and (other) partners that are critical to our success."

Porter's first focus will be defining when and where exactly to open the first retail locations, Microsoft said.