“Hey do you want to go to the Microsoft Store and pick up a tablet?”
If somebody asked you that question today, you might think they were crazy. But it won’t be long before Microsoft Stores will be spotted in cities across North America.
Microsoft recently announced an expansion of its pop-up stores project in preparation for winter. These pop-up stores will help carry the slack in locations where permanent Microsoft Stores are too far away. There are already permanent Microsoft Stores opening across North America, although they are few and far between. By the time December rolls around, it won’t be difficult to find a pop-up store near you.
What’s at the Microsoft Store?
The Microsoft Store project is designed to address customer demand in preparation for the holidays. Microsoft Stores will be stocked with a wide range of Microsoft merchandise along with Windows tablets made by Microsoft’s OEM partners like Samsung.
And of course, Microsoft Stores will also carry the Microsoft Surface. In fact, if you want to buy the Microsoft Surface, then you’ll have to visit the official Microsoft Store. Microsoft will not be selling its flagship Windows 8 tablet anywhere else. These Microsoft Stores should also be carrying boxed copies of Windows 8 as well as other Microsoft software/hardware.
Early pictures from Microsoft Stores across the country show colorful displays of Xbox 360s and Kinect hardware and it looks like everything is designed to be as interactive as possible. There have even been a few (paid) celebrity appearances at Microsoft stores across the country.
Each store will also feature employees who will be more than happy to assist customers with whatever problems they’re experiencing. Microsoft has clearly taken a page out of Apple’s book with its store plans.
Where are the Microsoft Stores?
Microsoft Stores have been announced everywhere from Edmonton to Nashville to Puerto Rico. To view a full list of Microsoft Store locations and to find a store in your area, click here to visit the official Microsoft Store webpage.
There may already be a Microsoft Store near you. Permanent stores can currently be found in:
-Overland Park (Kansas)
-Oak Brook (Illinois)
If you spot a store near you, they’ll have Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface in stock on October 26. There should also be some promotional events surrounding the launch, but don’t expect lineups of Apple-like proportions.