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Microsoft store to face off against Apple iPhone 4 launch

Microsoft is opening its fourth retail store in San Diego's Fashion Valley Mall, not just a few doors down from an Apple Store, but also on June 24, the launch day of iPhone 4.

It's not clear if Microsoft intentionally timed its retail store opening with the launch of iPhone 4, or if the two events were just coincidental. Either way, the fact that Apple and Microsoft will both host major new retail store launches on the same corner of the mall should prove to be an interesting experience.

Microsoft has three other retail stores, all located close to Apple retail outlets. The first was opened 20 minutes away from an Apple Store in Scottsdale Arizona, while two others are located within the same malls, one in Mission Viejo, California and the other in Lone Tree, Colorado.

Microsoft has worked hard to replicate a close facsimile of Apple's retail stores, copying everything from the minimalist design, look and layout of product tables to Apple's Genius Bar concept, right down to employees' primary color uniforms and even their iconic lanyards.

Earlier prototype Microsoft stores were modeled to resemble big box retail, but the company subsequently shifted its focus to mimic Apple's success in small boutique retail.

In addition to closely following Apples retail locations, looks, and experience, Microsoft has also worked to create high profile launch events patterned after those originally initiated by Apple's own retail team. Whether the new store's opening will rival Apple's retail launch of iPhone 4, or be overshadowed by that launch just four doors down, remains to be seen.

Joe Wilcox snapped the following photo in the new San Diego store's location, positioned just opposite an existing Apple Store, and implored readers to show up for Microsoft's store opening.

Microsoft Store launch