Microsoft will close nearly all of its stores, it has said.
The physical stores that are based across the world will be shut and the staff who worked in them will instead work either remotely or in Microsoft’s corporate facilities, it said.
The company opened the first of its modern retail stores in 2009, around the time of the launch of Windows 7. Since then, it has opened more than 100 of the shops, using them not only to sell products but as ways of promoting both its software and hardware.
It offered the ability to get help with Microsoft products, in a way similar to the Apple Store’s Genius Bar. The stores would also allow people to play on Xboxes as they waited.
Microsoft will keep four of its stores open, in London, New York, Sydney and its home base of Redmond near Seattle. But they will be “reimagined”, the company said in a statement.