Imitation, flattery and Australia’s first Microsoft store

Anthony Caruana
22 April, 2015
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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And if “they” are right then news of Microsoft opening their first retail store outside the US must have Apple blushing.

Pip Marlow, the Managing Director of Microsoft Australia says the new store will be located at Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall, near the front entrance. It will sell Windows PCs, Surface devices, Windows Phones, Xbox One, Office feature the Answer Desk – ales pretentiously named version of Apple’s Genius Bar.

Employees at the store will regularly donate volunteer hours, host community events, offer training workshops, and support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

The opening of the store is a significant step for Microsoft. Although they operate store-in-store retail in China, it’s the first standalone store outside the United States.

We’ve had the opportunity to visit several Microsoft Stores in the United States – we were in one just today – and the experience is quite Apple-like although there are some things we prefer. The use of display technology and the Xbox makes the experience a little more interactive than an Apple Store. But you’ll also find similar, plain timber tables, an open layout and other elements that are familiar to Apple Store regulars.

The new store is opening later this year, in time for Christmas.

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