The first new Microsoft Store has opened in Scottsdale, and…it looks stunningly like an Apple Store. Same basic layout with computers lining the walls and on tables in the center with software and accessories in the back, same staff in brightly-colored T-shirts, same approach to window dressing. The one distinctive thing I see in the video below is the video wall, which–as rumored--wraps around the entire store. If someone kidnapped and blindfolded you, then took you here and removed the blindfold, you might think you were in an Apple Store for a moment until you noticed the computers weren’t Macs. (I can’t tell what brands are represented from the video, but they’re presumably washed with synthetic Unicorn tears.)
I hope the stores are a tremendous success, since it would be nice if Windows users across the nation got access to the level of hand-holding and instant tech support that’s standard at the Apple Stores. (Which, incidentally, aren’t perfect–for instance, I’d much prefer to pay at a register than have to track down a roving clerk with a handheld payment terminal–but have most Windows-centric stores beat in most respects that matter.) Judging from the lack of imagination displayed in the video, though, Microsoft should be put on some sort of extended mandatory hiatus from making snarky comments about Apple. Let’s say six months.