Microsoft’s Sydney store, the first outside the US, opens today.
The 500 square metre, two storey, retail space in glass, wood and steel on Pitt Street Mall follows 110 stores rolled out since the first opened in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2009.
The store shows how diversified Microsoft remains, despite new CEO Satya Nadella’s recent rationalisation. There are sections devoted to laptops, tablets, sports bands, phones, Xbox, Skype, Minecraft and more.
Just like Apple, Samsung and Amazon, which have all opened branded stores, Microsoft is trying to make its products more tactile. Playing with a physical product creates a feeling of ownership, which results in more purchases.
Alongside Microsoft branded products, there are dozens of different laptops from partner companies. There are Bose headphones, and surprisingly, Apple-owned Beats ones too, along with games galore.
Microsoft has 60 staff on the floor in roles ranging from customer service to business and technical support. The answer desk will troubleshoot, repair and service any device running Microsoft software.
According to store manager Nick Wells, it doesn’t matter if it’s a 20-year-old Dell running Windows 95, the store will help with software upgrades, and virus and malware removal for free. Customers will only be charged for technical support if there are hardware issues.
The Sydney store is the first to feature a “community theatre”, which can hold up to 45 people for workshops, training and special events. Microsoft will hold events for kids in the space, including a coding program aimed at girls called DigiGirlz.
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