Video: A Quick Peek Inside the Microsoft Store

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BasiliskSt

The design and layout of the new Microsoft Store is a near copy of the typical Apple Store. About 1,000 people had already visited by 11:30 AM when I made it through the doors. The line had been quite long when I arrived at 10:20 AM. There was a good selection of hardware from HP, Lenovo, Dell, Sony and Acer among others, with the familiar tables grouped by All-in-ones, netbooks and notebooks. Several Surface machines were scattered through the store and attracted a lot of attention along with the new touchscreen all-in-ones. I liked the look of the new Lenovo all-in-one, but HP has matured the touchscreen interface more than others. The all-aluminum Dell Adamo laptop was a good Mac Air clone at a better price point, at $1,400 some dollars with a 128 GB SSD hard drive. I looked for a Neo-based netbook, but all I found were various Atom powered machines. I did not find any home theater focused machines, but I also did not look everywhere with the crowds quite dense. I like that most Windows machines offer HDMI out for easy connections to consumer electronic devices, especially large screen TVs. We use my wife's HP laptop for streaming video content such as Hulu or Netflix to our big screen TV. My Mac Air is not as convenient for streaming with its micro DVI and weaker graphics chip (newer Airs have more graphic power and Display port, but still not HDMI). I'm interested in a small dedicated machine for the home theater, but have waited for Win 7. I really like ATI's new 5800 series graphics chip, so will look for something with that eventually. I wanted to look at the new Zune HD but that table was pretty crowded and decided to do it another time. I have a copy of Win 7 Ultimate via Launch Party that I'm quite pleased with. I bought a family upgrade pack for other machines in the household and checkout was also similar to Apple Store's with staff carrying portable machines that can print a receipt or send one via e-mail. I took mine via e-mail. Earlier folks in line got more "treats". My gift bag had a metal sport water bottle painted black with Microsoft in bold, a small box of mints and a chapstick. I heard earlier bags held $25 coupons and that the earliest received door prizes. Staff worked the long line handing out Cliff bars and water bottles and Bing t-shirts. The age of folks in line was not self-obvious. With Ashley Tisdale as the concert attraction, you might expect the age to skew young, but there were plenty of retirees mixed in with a variety of working age adults, and nearly as many women as men by my guestimate.

I'll try and make it back to the Ashley Tisdale councert at 5:00 (from Disney's High School Musical). I'm a bit old to be gaga over Ashley, but I did thoroughly enjoy the High School Musical movies. They were cute and fun movies.  Ashley had the more challenging role in the movies as the nominal villan, albeit talented and mostly just bumbling self-absorbed villany. She's a good singer in or out of character. I suspect there will be younger fans more thrilled to see her, but the local Scottsdale Fashion Mall will appreciate the added traffic brought in by the new Microsoft Store.

 I asked how they selected which partner's machines to showcase, and a manager shared they try to take a good sampling at various price points, particularly new and interesting machines.

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jcollins

My "hater" side wonders how many of those were paid to be there by Microsoft... :)

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brycelb

Did they hire someone to develop the Microsoft store concept or did they just walk down to the Apple store and say "we'll take one of those".  I guess money doesn't buy creativity.

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jcollins

There were comparisons floated around on a leaked store design a while back.  The general idea is that, yes, they stole the design from Apple and renamed things.

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nHeroGo

I'm excited too about various computer related things, but I don't dress up in full Star Trek gear exchanging high fives with strangers in a store. Besides, imagine the amount of Swine Flu these patients will have as a result. Wash your hands please.

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