Microsoft Corp. is playing catch-up with retail giants, post Thanksgiving, by announcing its own Black Friday sales, at stores across the U.S.

The U.S.-based software giant is offering a number of discounts and deals, at both its online store and physical retail outlets; the products on discount include a host of smartphones, laptops, software and gaming consoles. The sale began on Friday and will continue till Monday.

On the face of it, these discounts seem more attractive than rivals Apple Inc., which slashed its prices by less than 10 percent.

The exciting deals range from a Sony S137GX notebook for $599 to a Samsung RC512 laptop (with Windows 7) for $499. In addition, customers will get $200 off the price of the Xbox Ultimate Gaming Bundle (inclusive of accessories and a game). Customers can also purchase the Kinect Sensor Holiday Bundle, which includes three games for $100. The latter offer is only available at one of the 14 retail outlets. The deals also offer a free Windows-based phone, with a two-year service agreement.

On the software front, specials include the Office Home and Student suite, for $120 and an entire litany of discounted games, available on Microsoft's Facebook page.

Finally, customers can avail an additional savings of 25 percent, if they use the code SAVE25 at checkout.