The first floor of the all glass, five story space is dedicated to product display, with Surfaces and Surface Books at the front, a row for the new Microsoft Band 2 complete with a HoloLens displayed in the middle (the only thing in the store that you cannot play with), followed by a Dell station and a Laptop station for other manufacturers such as HP, Asus, and Lenovo. The walls are lined with video screens showcasing the various products, 198 on the first three floors, and underneath them are the accessories available for the machines on the floor. A notable inclusion is the Beats headphones prominently displayed, showing that Microsoft too is not afraid to sell its target competitor’s product. When it comes to laptops from Dell, HP, and Lenovo, they will not be selling the same bundle. All computers sold from the Microsoft Store are being built from their “Signature Image”, which is a version of Windows 10 that does not include any OEM bloatware, or any pre-installed software not required by the hardware.
Nestled into the back of the first floor, beside the all glass elevator and under the all glass stairs, was an 84” Surface Hub, ready to use. While this is not aimed at consumers, Microsoft plans on using this space to demo the unique technology to their commercial customers who are there for any reason. This is one of three Surface Hubs at the new store, the other two being the 55” versions. When you crowd around the one downstairs it becomes clear that Microsoft has more gadgets to show off these days than physical space to properly display them.
The second floor of the new store is what they are calling their Community Theater, where Microsoft has set up space for up to 60 guests to hold educational workshops, training, and local community events. They will be offering the space at no costs to local community organizations, as well as granting a $3 million technology donation to 14 local community organizations to celebrate the Grand Opening, including the Women’s Housing Economic Development Corp. and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
The remainder of the second floor is lined with gaming stations set up to use, and for more than one player. They have Xbox Ones as well as a high end Alienware gaming PC from Dell showcasing the latest games. During the tour they had Forza 5 and Lego Dimensions going and will be cycling the games being played depending on what is being marketed, as well as what the employees are interested in playing.
The third floor is maybe the most interesting, being called the Dell Experience at Microsoft. This area was incomplete during our tour, and we were not allowed up there, but based on conversations with the Microsoft staff available it would be run by Microsoft, to showcase Dell technology to consumers as well as provide a space to highlight the business oriented products that Microsoft and Dell partner on.