We previously reported that Microsoft was to open "brand-boosting" retail shops, and that scheme has got closer to lift off as the software giant has announced an exec hire to make it happen.

Microsoft has announced that David Porter will join the company as corporate vice president of retail stores.

The company has revealed that Porter will lead Microsoft's efforts to "create a better PC and Microsoft retail purchase experience for consumers worldwide through the development and opening of the company's own retail stores".

A previous Wal-Mart exec, Porter joins Microsoft from DreamWorks where he was head of worldwide product distribution.

"There are tremendous opportunities ahead for Microsoft to create a world-class shopping experience for our customers", Porter said.

"I am excited about helping consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases, and we'll share learnings from our stores with our existing retail and OEM partners that are critical to our success".