On the way to the Apple Store today to buy AppleCare+ for my wife’s new iPhone 5, we passed the new Microsoft Store, coincidentally in the middle of their Surface with Windows RT launch. (That is actually the product’s name. “Surface with Windows RT”.)
They had set up a table and an Xbox demo in the hallway and were giving away “Microsoft Surface”-branded disposable rain ponchos (this entire mall is indoors, including the parking, and it didn’t rain today) and muffin fragments (much like when you order a soda on a plane, they pour a third of it into a little plastic cup full of hollow ice cylinders, and they don’t let you keep the rest of the can). An employee with a microphone in front of the Xbox kiosk was talking to the audience of nobody as if it were a dance party.
The store is creepy: so many elements are embarrassingly similar to the Apple Store on the next floor. Microsoft even ripped off trivial elements that easily could have been different, such as the employee uniform. There’s a huge elephant in the room, and we can all see it, but Microsoft still implicitly denies it.
It’s interesting reading Marco’s take on the Surface launch day as he accidentally found himself in a local Microsoft store to play with a Surface tablet.
I’ve been inside a Microsoft Store, and it is way too similar to the Apple Store, at least the Samsung stores actually have a touch of individuality (despire Samsung enjoying usually copying Apple).
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