New Microsoft Store opens in Salt Lake City, and we were there

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Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 10:30 AM Mountain Time, Microsoft opened its new retail store in Salt Lake City, which just so happens to be in my home town, imagine my excitement! It is also humorously built straight across the street from one of Salt Lake’s local Apple Stores. The awesome store was opened to much fanfare, with Microsoft bringing in the band Train in town to perform and giving away two hundred tickets to their concert this weekend with backstage passes to meet the band to the first people in line, and another thousand regular tickets. It was an awesome event, and Microsoft’s store is awesome too.

The whole shindig was full of energy and excitement, with music being played, raffles going on and giving out other goodies, including a Surface to one girl who had the guts to sing “Hey Soul Sister” from the band Train. Microsoft’s retail employees were full of energy and excitement, high-fiving every person that they came across as they entered the store. There was well over one thousand people (the number of tickets they were giving away for the concert Saturday) at the event, with some having even camped there over night in order to catch some tickets to see Train this Saturday. What I thought was the coolest part of the show though was that Microsoft presented money to charity, giving two technology grants of $150,000 each to the YMCA and Big Brother’s Big Sister of Utah. And $1 billion in software to Junior Achievement. It was a fun fanfare and full of energy, even though it was very cold outside and raining (the free ponchos were rather nice). Also what was awesome was this was the largest collection of other Windows Phone users that I have ever been around, which is awesome for anyone of us Windows Phone diehards who feel so lonely in the world.

It is really good to see Microsoft expanding their retail presence and continuing to grow their brand into a ‘premium’ experience. This expansion is further evidence of Microsoft’s commitment to recreating their brand and their image in a way that is different from how it has ever been before. And it is exciting to see a retail store that is genuinely different from an Apple Store, and offers new ways to innovate the shopping experience, and indeed make it fun to shop again. Even more awesome is Microsoft is sticking it to Apple by building their store in a city that has long been dominated by Apple (with two Apple stores and a populace that seems oblivious to anything except Apple) and then directly across the street from the biggest Apple Store in Salt Lake City. If you live in the Salt Lake area, or had the opportunity to go to the grand opening, share your thoughts on the matter.


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