Friday, October 26, 2012
People were waiting in line for a new electronic gadget at SouthPark mall Friday, but they weren't at the Apple store: They were at Microsoft's new pop-up store, waiting to buy the new Surface tablet.
The open kiosk, which could be a prelude to a permanent store in the area, is one of 34 temporary Microsoft stores the computer giant opened Friday for the holidays. The point of the stores is to get new products in customers' hands and generate buzz about them.
Friday, that buzz was about the Surface tablet. In between the Abercrombie & Fitch and Bath & Body Works stores, customers lined up to play with and purchase the Surface, which starts at $499, or $599 for one with the flip-cover keyboard.
The Surface, for now, is only available online and at the Microsoft stores.
Microsoft also released Windows 8 on Friday, and workers were showing customers how to use the new products.
"We want them to come so they can learn whole Windows 8 product," said store manager Maryam Alhammami. "Customer service is the whole thing."
Microsoft will use the temporary store as a launching pad for hot items this holiday season. The company is also planning release events for Halo 4 and the Windows 8 phone, both of which could be big holiday sellers.
Here's a good article in the Wall Street Journal about people lining up for Microsoft products. An excerpt, and some nostalgia Microsoft is doubtless trying to recreate: "In 1995, when PCs were the center of the action in technology, customers lined street corners in major cities around the world hoping to get their hands on Windows 95, one of the first big overhauls of the software that runs on most PCs."
Posted by Ely Portillo at 12:34 PM