Microsoft today announced the opening of the Microsoft Store on eBay in the US. Just like the main online Microsoft Store, eBay’s version offers first-party Microsoft products including Surface and Xbox, as well as various Microsoft accessories.

Furthermore, Microsoft promises its customers can expect “the same safe online shopping experience, return policy and free shipping from the Microsoft Store on eBay that they’ve come to expect on microsoftstore.com.” In other words, this is a partnership that goes beyond making sure eBay simply lists Microsoft products on a separate Web page.

6443.Microsoft Store on eBay Home 4B3DBBB8 730x760 Microsoft Store on eBay opens in the US, offers first party Microsoft products including Surface and Xbox

The launch comes just in time for the holiday season, a critical period for any tech company looking to boost sales of new product. Microsoft has been working hard to ramp its retail presence in recent years, but it still has a long way to go.

The online Microsoft Store and the online Microsoft Store on eBay aside, the company says it has 81 full-line and specialty retail stores. While that’s a growing number, it’s still very small when compared to the likes of Apple or even Samsung.

Nevertheless, eBay is no small partner. Microsoft notes the global shopping destination sees more than 124 million active users globally.

Microsoft also briefly explained where this partnership stemmed from: “Our customers continue to tell us they want more choice, value and service and appreciate how our stores connect them to the best of Microsoft. This delights us to no end.”

We find this statement part hard to believe, but the company moving to expand its retail footprint certainly can’t hurt. Then again, Microsoft’s relationship with OEMs is thinning, and the businesses that have partnerships with eBay probably aren’t too happy.

See also – Microsoft starts opening Windows Stores in Best Buys and Future Shops across the US and Canada and Microsoft slashes Surface Pro’s price by another $100: 64GB for $699, 128GB for $799, and 256GB for $999

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