Microsoft is currently preparing to launch a retail store in the UK during March 2013. We have learned, through sources familiar with the company's plans, that the software maker will launch its retail store after an online store launch in the UK — currently scheduled for later this summer.

Microsoft recently registered its own private limited company in the UK, as Neowin noted, to form part of the company's plans to branch out to its UK customer base. Store designs are expected to be completed ahead of the online store launch, with a grand retail opening scheduled for next year. Our sources have indicated that Microsoft has not yet finalized the exact location of the March store, but that the company could be contemplating additional stores across London and the UK for similar timed launches.

Microsoft's chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, revealed at last year's Worldwide Partner Conference that the firm plans to open 75 new retail stores over the next two years. The company currently has 19 stores, with a new one opening in New York soon and a number of stores opening in Canada later this year.