We’ve been closely watching the construction of Microsoft’s new retail store at Seattle’s University Village — which happens to be located directly in the line of sight of Apple’s store at the outdoor mall. Now, in what’s shaping up to be a fierce retail rivalry, Apple plans to double the size of its Bellevue Square store and move to a new space that’s located  — yep, you guessed it — directly in the line of sight of Microsoft’s new store, according to a report from ifoAppleStore.com.

Microsoft opened its Bellevue Square location to much fanfare last November, including an appearance by Steve Ballmer and a concert by Miley Cyrus. (The store also happens to be just three doors down from Apple’s much smaller location).

Microsoft is a new entrant in the retail game, but it’s strategy was laid out in 2009 when CNET reported that the company planned to open outposts in “proximity to Apple” stores.

Now, it may just be happenstance that Apple’s new location on the second floor of the mall will loom above the Microsoft store in direct line of sight of shoppers. ifoAppleStore.com reports that the new Apple store will open later this year, pointing out that “every single visitor leaving the Microsoft store across the hallway and one floor below” will be able to look up to the Apple store.

We’ve got calls into Bellevue Square for more details, and we’ll update the post as we hear more. An Apple employee at the Bellevue Square location said this morning that he didn’t have “any news” that they were planning to move, noting that the they are still operating in the same location.

Stay tuned.

Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft’s retail chain growing to 11 stores, but should there be more?

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  • Guest

    Congratulations to Apple for returning fire! I’m sick and tired of being made to walk past the much more lavish and spacious Microsoft Store to get to the puny Apple Store. I think I speak for everyone when I say I’d rather see a retail location commensurate in size with a company’s market capitalisation.

  • http://twitter.com/RedRussak Joshua ‘Red’ Russak

    Good for Apple! Microsoft, in an effort to fight back, has recently been sending e-mails to meetup organizers interested in using their space out in Bellevue. Not sure if this had to do with the recent push, but it’d be cool for Apple to start hosting in the same way. Imagine this: Your event is at the Apple store and each person gets access to a computer terminal for the event….okay, time to stop day-dreaming! BACK TO WORK

  • Jonathan Alford

    fun rivalry, yes, but this is also classic retail clustering, which should actually help them both.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessiethe3rd Jessie Anderson

    Apple stores – stark and colorless. Microsoft Stores – vivid and lively (they do stupid dances for goodness sake.)

  • http://twitter.com/davidaflowers David Flowers

    So bummed that Zao at U Village folded and, instead of housing a new place to eat, we get a Microsoft store:( That Apple store at Bellevue Square is way too small so glad they are expanding.

  • Anonymous

    I’d like to see an Apple Store in downtown Seattle near the light rail.

  • http://twitter.com/iamintricate Kyle Kesterson

    Stories and comments like these draw vivid images in my head of giant logos waging war and playing chess against each other with the little pawns wandering aimlessly in between getting caught in the cross fire. 

    Seriously, it may be “good for Apple”, then Microsoft’s retaliation “good for them”, back and forth, but the power of the punches are deeply felt in the thoughts and habits of consumers. Getting caught up in their cultures and economies is such an incredible time and energy suck.

    Yet we as creators and technologists have to go with the flow, eh?

    *goes back to clicking away on my Magic Trackpad making Facebook games on my Macbook with my Adobe software…

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