Microsoft’s new New York City store shakes up a familiar formula

The New York City store, before it opened. (credit: Microsoft)

New York City finally has a Microsoft store to call its own.

Microsoft took its sweet time to bring one of its stores to the city, with many smaller towns and cities across the US already boasting stores of their own first. For a long time, New York—prime tourist destination and home of the North American media that it is—was an obvious and peculiar exception. But that changed today, with not merely a store but a flagship store now gracing Fifth Avenue, a few blocks away from Apple’s iconic glass cube store.

Inside, it looks much the same as any other Microsoft store, just a little moreso. It has the same open spaces, wraparound monitor “frieze” showing promotional videos, large wooden tables showcasing the devices, and mix of first and third-party hardware. Microsoft’s own Surface line is of course given pride of place—the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are both sure to generate a lot of interest—but you’ll also find some of the more desirable offerings from Dell, Samsung, Lenovo and others on sale. All of those come with  the desirable “Signature” branding, meaning near freedom from preinstalled crapware. The Fifth Avenue store does these things bigger with a larger frieze, two floors, two different training and presentation areas, and a storefront that will be used to showcase artwork, but the overall formula is familiar.

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