Microsoft opens its biggest store, across from Apple

Microsoft Store Mall of America

Today Microsoft opened its biggest Microsoft Store yet, and directly across from an Apple Store. This is Microsoft's sixth location, with a seventh planned in Bellevue, Washington on November 18, just down the road from Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond.

The brand new Microsoft Store in Bloomington, Minnesota, located inside the Mall of America is 8,600 total square feet, and features all Microsoft electronics and software, including Xbox 360 slim, Kinect, Windows Phone 7, Office 2010, Windows 7 and even Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft's store opening kicked off at 9AM, where thousands attended to witness the opening ceremonies and ribbon cutting. The three-day celebration will feature a performance by Kelly Clarkson today, with Kinect events and prizes tomorrow and Windows Phone 7 available in stores on Monday.

Microsoft also opened a brand new store on Thursday in Oak Brook Mall, in Chicago, Illinois. Celebrations for the Oak Brook store were similar to that of the Mall of America store, which featured performances from Colbie Caillat, and NFL star Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears, and MLB star Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs.

Image credit: MSFTNews via Twitter

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I missed opening by one day, I was walking through and saw it, across of the Apple store! Now I have to make another trip to the mall justttt to see the pretty new Microsoft store =]

On a related note, there is also an A&W in the mall now.

I was just there tonight in Mall of America, I picked up a Kinect. Prices are the same. Layout was fairly modern, had lots of Xbox games, tons of Kinects in stock, and you could test it in store at several locations, with a 50" TV and a 80" projector in the back of the store. In addition, there was a large Kinect area outside of the store (just down the hall) to test out a whole ton of games. The whole area was pretty big, about 30 meters square. It was ironic seeing it just across the way from the Apple store.

majg said,
I wonder if Apple employees would think it's beneath them to go play with Surface, Kinect etc
Why would they? Just because they're Apple employees doesn't mean they've been made to swear an oath with their hand on a copy of OSX. They're just people at the end of the day, working to live; although I daresay there are some hardcore fanboys on both sides of the fence (Apple/Microsoft).

majg said,
I wonder if Apple employees would think it's beneath them to go play with Surface, Kinect etc

I'm sure Microsoft employees will be seen in the apple stores too. But like the comment above, they aren't restricted from going into either store.

hotdog963al said,
They are depressingly similar. Fair play though, what else could they have done?!

Exactly... so many people say they "love" apple stores... then have a problem with other shops copying them.

derekaw said,
The MS stores are a copy of Apple stores.

True, they are pretty similar. I love, love, love, LOVE the Apple stores but I love my PCs and can't get a lot for my PCs at the Apple store. I bought my iPhone and MacBook Pro from the Apple store and would definitely buy software and possibly some hardware from the Microsoft store. None open over here though.

hotdog963al said,
what else could they have done?!

Come up with an idea themselves before Apple does for a change?

I expect the Apple store to have the same amount of traffic.

Its just like a jewelry store with a GAP in front of it. People looking for jewels will not go to the GAP, and people looking for jeans will not go to the jewelry store.

In this case Apple = jewels, Microsoft = GAP

sexypeperodri said,
I expect the Apple store to have the same amount of traffic.

Its just like a jewelry store with a GAP in front of it. People looking for jewels will not go to the GAP, and people looking for jeans will not go to the jewelry store.

In this case Apple = jewels, Microsoft = GAP

I can't work out if you mean:

I'm presuming you meant Jewels > GAP, but funnily....

Jewels = looks pretty and are "look at me" but basically pretty useless, whereas GAP = useful items of clothing

UK UK UK Come on OH GOD WANT ONE IN THE UK id do an overnight stay anywhere in the UK to go to it and be in line first on opening day.

Sylar2010 said,
UK UK UK Come on OH GOD WANT ONE IN THE UK id do an overnight stay anywhere in the UK to go to it and be in line first on opening day.

Not quite the level of enthusiasm of your good self, but I too would like to see an MS store in the UK - the apple stores are well thought out and definitely get peoples imagination and awareness going. The Trafford centre in Manchester (as all big shopping malls in the uk) are full of people wanting to be WOW'd with new funky stuff, I firmly believe the stores are one of the main reasons the iBrand has sold so well, people like to play - but if while they are playing they can be pumped full of corporate branding (both consciously and sub consciously) it works so much better!

Sylar2010 said,
UK UK UK Come on OH GOD WANT ONE IN THE UK id do an overnight stay anywhere in the UK to go to it and be in line first on opening day.
Please.......no......

For what? To buy what? Literally pointless. You can buy ALL their products ALREADY at ANY OTHER computer store.

duddit2 said,

Not quite the level of enthusiasm of your good self, but I too would like to see an MS store in the UK - the apple stores are well thought out and definitely get peoples imagination and awareness going. The Trafford centre in Manchester (as all big shopping malls in the uk) are full of people wanting to be WOW'd with new funky stuff, I firmly believe the stores are one of the main reasons the iBrand has sold so well, people like to play - but if while they are playing they can be pumped full of corporate branding (both consciously and sub consciously) it works so much better!

Same with most cities - the Apple store in Newcastle has apparently exceeded all expectations, apparently one of the main reasons they opened a second store on Tyneside, only a few miles away! I would love an Microsoft Store in Newcastle - there are plenty of places in Newcastle they could open one.

hotdog963al said,
Please.......no......

For what? To buy what? Literally pointless. You can buy ALL their products ALREADY at ANY OTHER computer store.

One difference off the bat at least is that any PC/laptop/netbook you buy from a MS store has no crapware preinstalled on it like at Best buy or so on. It's just Windows like everyone wants from the get go, maybe at the most the live apps.

Plus MS can give you better deals since they cut out the middle man (the retail store in general) so that's a bonus. Also if you can't find something MS related at one place the chances of finding it or being able to order it from a MS store are higher.

That's all I can think of, but there you go.

Sylar2010 said,
UK UK UK Come on OH GOD WANT ONE IN THE UK id do an overnight stay anywhere in the UK to go to it and be in line first on opening day.

Indeed it would be great if they came to the UK! There's a free unit sorta opposite the Apple store in Belfast...

Nice timing with Kinect, WP7, Fable III and other consumer items.
If MS can get blockbuster releases out on a regular basis, it will drive traffic to these fronts... while Apple fans can wait for their iStuff.

The malls win as well.

bbfc_uk said,

Are there any planned?

My best guesses would be either Lakeside, Regent Street or Blue Water. Most likely Regent Street or somewhere else in London.

Soviet said,
I doubt its awkward at all. I plan to go into apple with my new W7P and show them how it works.

Unless you're not being sarcastic at all ... it would be awesome if you could record it and upload it to YouTube .. too bad it's likely that the security guy will tell you to hide your camera

astroX said,

Unless you're not being sarcastic at all ... it would be awesome if you could record it and upload it to YouTube .. too bad it's likely that the security guy will tell you to hide your camera


Nah, he'd just make an idiot of himself, no one cares about some childish fanboy crap. Some people really should get a life.

They shouldn't have copied the nametag thing. Wearing it like normal people with a clip on the pocket or belt would look better imo

Brent1700 said,
I wonder how Microsoft's partners (like Best Buy) feel about these stores.

No reason they should feel any different towards Apple, they sell their products too

Brent1700 said,
I wonder how Microsoft's partners (like Best Buy) feel about these stores.

I don't think they care that much. At least they shouldn't. There's far more Apple stores out there currently, and Best Buy sells Apple products too. If anything, it should be an indicator to Best But to fix up their generally ugly store layouts and poorly maintained display items, and maybe offering better service than the so-called "Geek Squad".

I cannot wait for the one in Atlanta to be open. I think havning their own store is a really smart investment for microsoft for better PR. I know that apple is really good at that. So there is no reason Microsofot can follow the same step or even be better.

I wonder if it's awkward for Microsoft Store employees to make eye contact with Apple Store employees. Also, I wish I could go into work with blue jeans and a simple polo shirt. D:

KSib said,
I wonder if it's awkward for Microsoft Store employees to make eye contact with Apple Store employees. Also, I wish I could go into work with blue jeans and a simple polo shirt. D:

I doubt there would be, would be quite pathetic on both parts if there was 'bad blood'.

KSib said,
I wonder if it's awkward for Microsoft Store employees to make eye contact with Apple Store employees. Also, I wish I could go into work with blue jeans and a simple polo shirt. D:

Yeah, not everyone is a loyalist to a brand. People need jobs.

KSib said,
I wonder if it's awkward for Microsoft Store employees to make eye contact with Apple Store employees. Also, I wish I could go into work with blue jeans and a simple polo shirt. D:

Believe it or not, but being a Mac user myself I actually have close friends that use Windows. Crazy, I know!

That's not really what I was getting at. I'm sure quite a few people who browse this site have friends who use an OS different from them. Thanks for the sarcasm though.

Some stores require that their employees say certain things that keep them from going to other stores. Like Family Video would say that they get certain videos on day one where Netflix and Redbox don't. Also, watching someone walk out of your store, not buy anything and then directly into the competing store may feel a little awkward for someone especially if they take pride in their job.