Friday evening I was invited, with other fellow bloggers and techies, by Suzi of Pink Vanilla Cupcakes, to preview the new Microsoft Store at the Mall of America. Our evening began at Crave with delicious appetizers and drinks. We got to socialize and then we heard all about the store. All I hear was "yes". That is what all of their employees are instructed to say. Basically do what ever it takes to help the customer. They also have a program for scouts to help them earn badges and lots of free classes. Want to learn Power Point? They have a class for that. You don't even need to make a purchase to take a class. Small businesses can send their employees or even those who are job seekers can gain really valuable skills. Thumbs up to Microsoft for this.
Then the moment came, we could see the store. We were escorted with our "media" badges through the back door (because the curtains were still up on the front of the store) and shown around. (BTW - the store is directly across from the Apple store, genius or stupid? I say genius). I wish I could show you some pictures but we were not allowed to take any (more about that later on). My first impressions- it was bright, clean yet colorful. There was a lot to look at. The first thing that hit me was the video wall that wrapped around the store. Apparently once the store opened you could watch your demo of the new Window's phone, play xBox games and more all up on the wall. (yes I got to see and play with the new Windows Phone days before it was available - it was very sweet)
The whole middle of the store was dedicated to the lap tops. I lode that they organized them by size and then by cost within each size. So logical. So smart. Cliff and I desperately need a new one so I was scoping them out and even found a few very viable and reasonable options.
But by far the item in the store that got he most attention was this table called the Microsoft Surface. You could draw, write, play game a, look at pictures. It was so cool. Check it out when you visit the store.
All In all I liked the store, liked what they want to do with the store and with the community. But overall I felt they could have done a better job with us on Friday. They could have let us take pictures (we even promised not to publish them until Sunday and even sign something). They could have let us be more hands on. Nothing but the "surface" was powered up. I wanted to play xbox, Kinect, try a laptop.
But I will go back to the store, I will probably get my new laptop there and I will try out Kinect.