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By | Kelly Fiveash 22nd September 2009 12:20

Microsoft stalks, poaches Apple retail staff

Readies ex-Jobsian troops to punt iPhone Surface, Mac OSX Windows 7

Microsoft is clearly not content with simply apeing Apple’s razzle-dazzle retail stores - it’s reportedly now trying to poach some of the iPod maker’s staff, too.

According to the Loop, Redmond has got in touch with several of Apple’s retail bosses in an effort to woo them over to Microsoft’s forthcoming retail stores, which as we’ve noted previously look an awful lot like Apple’s shops.

The old adage that imitation is the greatest form of flattery may be true, but we at Vulture Central suspect that Apple might not take so kindly to Microsoft’s decision to declare hunting season open on Cupertino’s employees.

Individuals who had been approached by MS told the Loop that the company was offering “significant raises” to Apple retail store managers who do make the jump over to Microsoft’s retail stores.

Additionally, some bosses have been offered moving expenses as part of the poaching package. On top of that, newly signed up Microsoft employees are reaching out to top sales folk in the Apple retail family to join the MS shop jamboree.

In July a prototype of what Microsoft's retail store could look like leaked onto the interwebs.

The stores - which will come with their own Apple Genius Bar-like concept - are expected to open before the end of this year.

Microsoft hired Wal-Mart veteran David Porter to head up its retail push in February this year.

The software vendor is expected to tentatively dip its toe into the feet-on-street market by opening up several US stores, some of which will be on Apple’s doorstep, later this year.

We asked Microsoft to comment on this story, but at time of writing it hadn't got back to us. ®

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Microsoft's strategy is to make Store apps popular. Good luck with that