Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to be invited to a super-secret, kids and parents, pre-opening event for Microsoft Partners at the new Microsoft Store on Pitt Street Mall. Given this is the first Microsoft Store in Australia, I was certainly keen to see how Microsoft was going to present at a retail level.

On arrival we were checked in, flight style, presented with name badges, ushered through a side door and then lead into a bright open space with a plethora of colourful t-shirt wearing staff mingling around tables with Laptops, Phones, Watches, Xbox Games and Accessories. I was greeted by an extremely cheerful assistant wearing bright green who welcomed me to the store, asked if I had anything in particular I wished to see before leaving me to my own devices upon my response.

I visited a few of the tables and noted that none of the product was tied down and was informed that Microsoft wanted to encourage a walk around and experience the product environment which I found quite appealing.

Downstairs also features an “Answer Desk” which has been designed to provide a “one-stop shop” for technical help and services for any equipment, of any operating system or manufacturer.

There was also an upstairs section to which I next ventured to be greeted with more central tables as well as the new Surface Book, which I must admit is a pretty cool piece of kit that we will do a product review on at a later stage!

Microsoft have taken the Apple Style store and I believe made it more user friendly, while still being product play focussed. In addition to the central product and user assistance focussed tables they have set up other presentation and learning focussed stations on the ground and first floor using the Surface Hub and have even built a community theatre there to allow for events to be held in a classroom style environment, complete with an entire presentation wall and Surface Hub as well as two LCD TV’s that were being used to play Xbox games at the time.

All I can say is well done Microsoft, I had a great time, feel the store enables me to get all that I need and more and I look forward to hearing the expected positive reviews as time goes by!