Microsoft recently announced they were planning to open up retail stores ala Apple near the latter company's existing locations. Leading the charge is former Wal-Mart merchandising guru David Porter, who was hired on as Redmond's VP of retail stores — and by his side will be none other than George Blankenship, Apple's former real estate chief.
According to TechFlash, Blankenship has been hired on to consult on location choice for the Microsoft stores, which the company hopes will give consumers a chance to try out Windows wares, Zunes, and other gizmos in the Gatesian ecosystem. Because he'll be nothing more than a consultant, Blankenship avoids violating his NCA from Apple. There's no word on which locations Blankenship et al are considering, but the first store is expected to open on October 22, the same date as Windows 7's public launch.