Sydney will get the first Microsoft store outside America

Photo: Microsoft.

Microsoft has announced the grand opening dates for its first flagship store in Sydney — the first outside of North America.

Spanning across two levels of Westfield Sydney at Pitt Street Mall, the store will open on Thursday November 12, following the launch of its New York store on Fifth Avenue.

Similar to Apple’s “Genius Bar”, the Microsoft store will have an “Answer Desk” where customers can learn how to use the latest and most popular products.

Business Insider’s Matt Weinberger stopped by the Microsoft Store in downtown San Francisco to check out Microsoft’s answer to the Genius Bar — and he thought it was “totally awesome”. Read about his experience here.

Another cool feature of the store will be an interactive space where customers can engage with and test the products.

To help, Microsoft has employed people from more than 11 countries, who speak more than 21 languages.

“This will be much more than a store,” said Pip Marlow, managing director of Microsoft Australia. “It will embody the world class innovation that you have come to expect from Microsoft and be a space where consumers — from teens who love gaming to parents who want to ensure their families are safe online, to small business owners looking for guidance – can visit and learn how to make the most of their technology, so they can make the most of every moment.”

On the opening day Microsoft will donate more than $5 million in software and technology grants to select local organisations in Sydney and New York.

In line with this community participation, Marlow says the store will regularly donate volunteer hours, host community events, offer training workshops and support STEM education.

Following the opening of its two newest stores, Microsoft is holding an event on October 6 entitled: “We have some exciting news to share about Windows 10 devices.”

While this is not as subtle as Apple’s event invites — which contain, if anything, misdirection — there is still a big grey area surrounding exactly what Microsoft will, and won’t, unveil.

Over the past few months there has been a constant drip-drip-drip of news, mainly focused around Microsoft’s smartphone plans, that will culminate into actual products early next month. Here’s what we expect to be released.

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