Microsoft opens consumer store #7 at Bellevue Mall, WA
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”
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.
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.