Microsoft Corporation and RadioShack on Thursday announced a strategic alliance that is designed to accelerate the adoption of Web technologies and high-speed Internet connections. Under terms of the agreement, which has the companies partnering for at least the next five years, Microsoft will open a "store within a store" in approximately 7000 RadioShack retail locations throughout the United States. These mini-stores will allow customers to experience Microsoft's Web products and sign-up for local dial-up or high-speed (broadband) Internet access.
"By forming an alliance with RadioShack, we're reaching customers in a new way, giving them a unique opportunity to experience and obtain online solutions through RadioShack's trained salespeople and expert home-installation team," said Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. "This model for convenient, one-stop shopping will allow us to greatly accelerate America's conversion to broadband services."
Microsoft Corporation will also make a $100 million equity investment in RadioShack.com, so that the company can re-launch the site with e-commerce features. The site will also be featured in the Microsoft Network's new eShop Web site.
Microsoft's decision to team up with RadioShack might be puzzling at first glance, but consider this: There is a RadioShack retail store within five minutes of 94% of the U.S. population