updated 03:40 pm EDT, Thu October 22, 2009
Scottsdale MS store copies Apple opening
Microsoft today opened its promised first Microsoft Store in Scottsdale, Arizona, marking its first significant effort in retail beyond experiments. The store matches leaked presentations showing a bright, spacious design resembling Apple stores and is now known to more directly imitate Apple in its staff and openings. As shown in an official video (available below), staff wear shirts in Windows-themed colors and, in today's launch, were grouped in lines to cheer the first customers entering the store.
The company claims a successful launch with lineups that extended outside of the Fashion Square mall and crowded the store afterwards. The store includes both Windows PCs as well as Windows Mobile smartphones, Xbox 360 consoles and Zune HD players.
Microsoft plans to launch a second store in Mission Viejo, California in one week's time and is counting on retail to restore its public image, which it believes has been hurt by Vista and to a lesser extent Windows Mobile. Apple's retail strategy is often credited with helping to fuel iPod, Mac and eventually iPhone sales as it gave customers an opportunity to try products in an ideal environment where third-party stores often have limited displays.