It has now decided that these physical stores will not re-open.
Besides product sales, Microsoft's stores offered users a place to try out Windows-run PCs, Xbox consoles and various third-party computers and phones. In some cases, like with Microsoft, companies have permanently closed retail locations.
According to its website, Microsoft operates more than 70 USA stores in 31 states.
The company said it would record a pretax charge of about $450 million in the current quarter from the closures, primarily for asset write-offs and impairments. The company didn't say whether layoffs will come as a result of the store closures.
Microsoft said its retail employees will continue to serve consumers, small-business, education and enterprise customers from the company's corporate facilities and remotely provide sales, training and support, "while building a pipeline of talent with transferable skills".
Four of its premium locations will be retained - New York City (Fifth Ave), London (Oxford Circus), Sydney (Westfield Sydney), and the Redmond campus location - to be reconfigured as "experience centres". Currently, it has 72 stores in the United States, seven in Canada and one each in the UK, Australia, Puerto Rico and Finland.
Instead of the physical stores, Microsoft intends to focus on online retailing, through which it already reaches 1.2 billion customers in 190 markets, Porter said.
The company also vows to beef up the digital version of the Microsoft Store with "virtual customer support from our trusted experts, online tutorial videos, virtual workshops with tips and much more", including personal video sales support calls. There were no Microsoft Stores in the Netherlands yet.
"We will continue to invest in digital solutions, including new services such as one-to-one video sales support", said Mr Porter. "The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months".
"This is a tough but smart strategic decision for (Chief Executive) Nadella & Co.to make at this point".
"The physical stores generated negligible retail revenue ... and ultimately everything was moving more and more towards the digital channels over the last few years".