First Microsoft Store Opening In Scottsdale And Windows 7 Release
Microsoft will open its first flagship retail outlet in Scottsdale, AZ this Thursday October 22nd. The store opening is set to coincide with Microsoft's release of the new Windows 7 operating system.
Engadget has ads from the Arizona Republic newspaper hyping a grand opening at Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona, at 10 a.m. on October 22 (the same day Windows 7 debuts). To create an Apple Store-like hysteria, Microsoft is reportedly giving away gift bags to the first 1000 visitors. In the early evening, pop singer Ashley Tisdale will perform.
There is speculation as to why Scottsdale will be the flagship location for Windows. Some believe this is Windows' attempt to emulate Apple's success as Apple currently has a store in nearby Phoenix. The layout and configuration of the new Windows store is reportedly not unlike what one would see in an Apple store. The Windows store will feature an "Answers Bar" not unlike the "Genius Bar" within Apple stores. Devices will also be set out along tables for customers to try out.
Other perspectives suggest that Windows is trying to stay under the radar in order to slowly merge into retail success. Ads currently running in the Arizona Republic newspaper suggest that the new Windows outlet will offer a more personal in-store experience. The store will reportedly offer performance tune-ups, on-going tech support, and training.
Last week, Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said the plan is to "open a couple of stores, try to improve, open a couple more stores." Sure, Microsoft may be mimicking the Apple Store in aesthetics, and even reportedly hiring away some employees, but it's not duplicating Apple's cockiness.
The Windows flagship store opening will coincide with the release of Windows 7 this Thursday. The launch of the new operating system will also be low-key unlike past years where cultural icons such as Jerry Seinfeld and the Rolling Stones aided in software promotion. Instead of public events, Windows is encouraging people to host their own launch parties with fellow users.
Thus far there aren't any major plans for Windows 7 events and promotions. There will, however, be a half-hour episode of Family Guy featuring the new software.
CEO Steve Ballmer and other Windows executives are set to attend Windows 7 launch events in New York and other major cities this week.