Microsoft is planning to open six new retail stores in 2013 in addition to the 40 or so physical locations already spread across the country. It’s all part of an ongoing plan to transform Microsoft from a software tycoon into a brand that’s recognizable across several markets and to get more in touch with those that are responsible for their success: everyday consumers.

The announcement of the new stores comes just after the always-lucrative holiday buying season which saw Microsoft construct multiple “pop-up” stores across the US in an effort to spread awareness of Windows 8. Here’s a list of where you can expect to see new Microsoft stores in the near future.

The Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas
Dadeland Mall, Miami, Florida
Beachwood Place, Beachwood, Ohio
Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
City Creek Center, Salt Lake City
St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis 

That diversification is already well under way and has been for several years with products like the Xbox 360. What started out as a gaming device has since morphed into a full-on entertainment hub for the living room complete with movies, music and television shows.

The company’s Windows Phone initiative is another example that shows Microsoft’s dedication to expanding their reach into new markets. More recently, however, the focus has been on the emerging tablet market where Redmond is hoping to mix things up with their Surface tablet. We’re still waiting on hard numbers to see just how successful Microsoft's tablet has been, however.