Daily Archives: November 20, 2010

Microsoft opens consumer store #7 at Bellevue Mall, WA

Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square Mall

Microsoft store front

Microsoft just opened their seventh consumer store.  So I went to check it out.  This is the first one here in Microsoft’s hometown, at Bellevue Square Mall.  This wasn’t the first store to open because they wanted to  get the kinks worked out before the big show here at home.  It looks like they did work out whatever kinks there would be.  Well most of them anyway.  Apparently they “comprimised”

comprimising photo of sign mispelled

"Comprimising" photo

on using a spell checker when they made their signs.
They have a cool wall of flat screens that make a long, continuous image.  See it in the background of the photo of me.

shoppers at Microsoft store, Bellevue WA

Microsoft store#7, Bellevue, WA

One corner of the store is setup with Xbox so you can try out the new Kinect. (see photo)  This is their equivalent of the Wii.  The cool thing about the Kinect is that it

doesn’t need a device in your hand to control.  Instead, it has a sophisticated motion sensor that you stand in front of to interact with the game.  It works fairly well, but if

you play competitive table tennis, don’t expect much realism from their version of the game.  I expect future versions of the device will improve in realism.
But this really isn’t a store about Microsoft.  It’s more about the hardware that you can run Microsoft software on, specifically Windows 7and Windows Phone 7.  So it’s really a Dell/Visio/HP/AT&T/Toshiba/etc. store.  For all its glitz and hoopla, wall of monitors and a few more (OK, a LOT more) square feet, it feels remarkably undifferentiated from the Apple store just 4 doors down.


Author with wall of monitors in the background

I was rather surprised at how no one there noticed the bright yellow IBM Lotusphere 2010 shirt I was wearing.  I know this is a consumer-focused store, not a store selling “enterprise software”, but I was still a bit disappointed.  So much for IBM brand recognition.

Kinect demo

Kinect demo

The store opened yesterday, but unfortunately I couldn’t attend.  You can read more from the Seattle Times who was there.
Apple store at Bellevue Mall, Bellevue WA

Apple store just a few doors away

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