April 12, 2013

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Microsoft Opens Store in City Creek

Di Lewis

April 12, 2013

Microsoft is going head-to-head with Apple in City Creek with Thursday’s opening of its 33rd retail location nationwide.

Jonathan Adashek, Microsoft general manager of communications strategy, said the decision to come to Salt Lake had nothing to do with Apple’s presence. The city had been on Microsoft’s list since they began opening retail stores in 2009, he said, but they were waiting for the right location.

Gov. Gary Herbert said the store’s opening “shows the vibrancy of the state” and Utah’s economy.

A large line of Microsoft fans had formed to wait for the opening. Adam Cloud said he’d been in line for 14 hours and was happy to see the store opening because “finally people will know that Apple is not the best product.”

Randall Cloud, who was waiting with Adam, said the store is nice because it will let customers get the chance to really use the products and test before buying.

The new 3,500-square-foot store features the things most people would expect—a full range of Microsoft products like tablets, PCs, phones and Xbox consoles and games—as well as a service desk, workshops and space for residents to come use products free of charge, Adashek said.

He said the Microsoft store offers drop-in individual training and group workshops. The group workshops are free, although the individual training is not. He said the classes are useful for people who want to learn more about how to use their software or computer but need a little help.

At the “answers desk,” customers can get 15 free minutes of diagnostics on their device. They also have small business experts in the store to find solutions to any tech issues entrepreneurs might have, he said.

One of the things the company is most excited about, Adashek said, is that the theater where classes are held is also open to the community. When classes aren’t going on, he said the room is open to those wanting to use it for their own classes, such as Scouts earning a technology badge.

“We’re using the stores to develop relationship with customers,” he said.

Store Manager Michael Reagan said, “We’re inviting the community to come here to hold workshops, hold lectures.” The store also plans on holding family-friendly technology talks and summer camps for kids with activities like movie making and other digital projects.

The Microsoft store has 45 full- and part-time employees, most of whom are locals, Reagan said.

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