Redmond, Wash.

Microsoft's glitzy new Surface tablet is apparently not selling well, and the tech giant is looking to retailers like Best Buy for help.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft made the move to expand its Surface device - intended as a rival to Apple's iPad and similar products - beyond its company stores and into third-party retailers like Best Buy and Staples. CMP Techweb explores the reasons why, and notes that despite some cutting-edge design elements, few consumers had any interest in the Surface, partly because they couldn't look at it.

Inside its Redmond, Wash., headquarters, Microsoft built a futuristic home, complete with a foyer, living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom and den.

No, it's not where Bill Gates stays when he's in town. It's Microsoft's equivalent of the concept car, showing off things that are possible today and could be affordable --maybe even prevalent --within the next three to five years.

When you walk into the home, you're greeted by "Grace," a disembodied voice named after computer pioneer Grace Hopper. Grace gives you a rundown on what's happened since you left

These 20 firms are leaders in their fields, and have the bank accounts to prove it. Check out how the companies that make the gadgets we love -- and the chips and equipment that power them -- fared on this year's Fortune 500.

Microsoft: Fortune 500 rank: 38, 2010 profit: $18.8 billion
The Redmond, Wash.-based software company profits were based on reported record revenues of $62.5 billion, driven in large part by its Windows 7 operating system, which has sold more than 240 million copies.

Microsoft is planning to open its first retail stores, and the software giant has hired a former Walmart executive in order to put the plan in motion, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Microsoft this week announced the opening of the Retail Experience Center, a "center of innovation" at the software giant's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. meant to demonstrate the company's products and other services to retailers.

More Blogs