Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft will permanently close most of its physical retail stores, but its London, New York City, Sydney and Redmond campus locations will remain open as Microsoft showrooms dubbed "experience centers," the company announced Friday.

Why it matters: Microsoft has yet to re-open any of its physical stores since it closed them all due to the coronavirus pandemic, even as states started easing restrictions, The Verge notes.

What they're saying: "As part of our business plan, we announced a strategic change in our retail operations, including closing Microsoft Store physical locations. Our retail team members will continue to serve customers working from Microsoft corporate facilities or remotely and we will continue to develop our diverse team in support of the overall company mission and objectives," David Porter, corporate VP of Microsoft Store, said in a statement.

  • Retail associates will continue to work remotely or from Microsoft corporate facilities.

Thought bubble from Axios' tech editor Kyle Daly: After spending the 2000s and part of the 2010s trying and failing to aggressively compete against Apple on consumer devices and services, Microsoft has become an enterprise juggernaut with its professional tools and cloud services. Closing its retail locations accelerates that retreat from focusing on the consumer market.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that the locations Microsoft is keeping open will be transformed into product showrooms.

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