To better extend the reach of its coming line of Surface tablets and counter the ubiquitous presence of Apple’s retail stores, Microsoft will open 30 temporary retail locations throughout the United States and Canada this holiday season. These “pop-up” stores, as they’re called, will provide customers with a way to experience Microsoft’s products and services in person in locations where there is no permanent Microsoft Store.

“The holiday stores will offer customers the opportunity to learn new technology skills, get the most out of their Microsoft-enabled devices, and engage with knowledgeable staff to identify the best products for their personal and gift-giving needs,” a post to the Official Microsoft Blog notes. “The new stores will expand Microsoft’s footprint to more locations, providing consumers with excellent choice, value, service, and an engaging way to experience the best of Microsoft’s products and services.”

Microsoft currently operates more than 20 retail stores around the United States and will soon open several more, including its first international locations in Toronto, Canada, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The firm announced in mid-2011 that it would be “doubling down” on its retail stores and open as many as 75 locations by the end of 2014.

The most recent Microsoft Store retail location opened in Boston, Massachusetts, late last month. See my photo gallery, Microsoft Store: Grand Opening in Boston, for more information.

Microsoft provided the following list of pop-up store locations, though it declined to specify exactly when they will open:

Aventura Mall – Aventura, FL

Beachwood Place – Beachwood, OH

Cherry Creek Shopping Center – Denver, CO

Dadeland Mall – Miami, FL

Eaton Centre – Toronto, Ontario

Fashion Mall at Keystone – Indianapolis, IN

Fashion Show Mall– Las Vegas, NV

Glendale Galleria – Glendale, CA

Mall at Green Hills – Nashville, TN

Mall in Columbia – Columbia, MD

Metropolis at Metrotown – Burnaby, BC

Montgomery Mall – Bethesda, MD

Natick Mall – Natick, MA

North Star Mall – San Antonio, TX

Oakridge Centre – Vancouver, BC

Penn Square Mall – Oklahoma City, OK

Perimeter Mall – Atlanta, GA

Roosevelt Field Mall – Garden City, NY

Ross Park Mall – Pittsburgh, PA

Saint Louis Galleria  – St. Louis, MO

South Shore Plaza – Braintree, MA

Southpark Mall – Charlotte, NC

Stonebriar Centre Mall – Frisco, TX

Streets at Southpoint – Durham, NC

Time Warner Center – The Shops at Columbus Circle – New York, NY

Washington Square– Portland, OR

West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton, Alberta

Westfarms Mall – West Hartford, CT

Westfield Garden State Plaza – Paramus, NJ

Westfield San Francisco Centre – San Francisco, CA

Woodland Hills Mall – Tulsa, OK

Woodlands Mall  – Woodlands, TX

Additionally, Microsoft plans to open permanent retail locations in Toronto, Canada; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Newark, New Jersey; Salem, New Hampshire; White Plains, New York; and Cincinnati, Ohio soon. That should give the firm about 30 permanent Microsoft Stores by the end of 2012.