Microsoft opens their first Illinois retail store in Oak Brook, Illinois as they get ready to take on Apple and the popular Apple Stores. Microsoft invited us to tour the new store and share our thoughts with you.
The Microsoft Windows 7 logo is the only signage outside the store, just like Apple Stores use the Apple logo. Inside the store we were greeted by advisers in colorful t-shirts and lanyards. The store is laid out like an Apple store with tables covered with electronic gadgets you can try out. Our store tour guide, Evelyn Kong, explained the target audience is a young mom who is not tech savvy. Advisers are on hand to help you select the item best for your needs.
Around the perimeter of the store, large flat panel monitors show product demonstrations and interactive games. These screens added energy and life to the store. Computers of all sizes are arranged through out the middle of the room. One of the desktop solutions on display was connected to three monitors for the serious multi-tasker. Also available are laptops, netbooks, smart phones and Kindle readers to try for yourself.
A limited number of the most popular software titles are on the shelf. Over 900 additional titles are available through the in-store kiosk. Select the titles you are interested and pay for your purchase. The software is burned onto a branded CD, the label is printed and the disc is placed into a shrink wrapper case while you wait.
Shoppers can schedule a free 15 minute consultation with an Microsoft expert who can fix or diagnose your technology problem. Store staff can help you set up your new purchase and training sessions are available.
A home theater area showcased Xbox in the family gaming center setting. Microsoft has a solution for those who do not like the look of their Xbox or laptop clashing with their home or office colors. Bring your logo or a picture to the store and Microsoft can create a skin to cover your product. Put your company logo on your laptops for your sales team, brand music players you give customers or cover your Xbox to match your living room decor.
The kids in the store gravitated to Kinect game played on the 100+” touch screen television. Using wireless sensors, the kids rafted down a river using their bodies to control the movement of the raft. Companies and individuals can rent this big screen area at no charge for parties or classes.
This area with a large screen is available for free rentals. Have your company meeting or clients in for a session. Contact the store to make reservations and additional information.
Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”
Microsoft offer programs and networking session for business owners. Contact the store for more information.
Microsoft sponsored our visit. The Microsoft Retail store in located in Oakbrook Center. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
100 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523-1838
I happened upon this store yesterday without knowing it existed. It seems like a huge validation of their competition’s strength given that Microsoft copied most everything about the Apple format, both in terms of layout and services…Even the store exterior looks like an Apple store with a Microsoft logo on it.
It was an interesting store but felt a bit strange given that there really are only a few Microsoft products in terms of the xbox and zune…most of the products on display were Samsung phones, Dell computers, and even the Amazon Kindle, the latter of which I could not determine the connection with Microsoft at all.
Understanding that Microsoft is largely a software company vs. a product company, I hope they come up with something differentiating / unique about their stores if this is a format / strategy they choose to expand.