Company deserate to unload original Surface tablets ahead of second-gen revamp
Microsoft, which recently announced a trade-in program for users who want to exchange their working iPads for a Microsoft Surface tablet, is said to be planning to expand the program to iPhones as it seeks customers willing to buy the unpopular first-generation Surface even as the company prepares the already-announced Surface 2 line to head to retail. The expanded program, said to begin on Friday, will accept iPhone 4S or 5 units and reward traders with a $200 Microsoft store gift card, which can be used for other MS products and accessories, such as an Xbox.
More 128GB version in stores by end of week
Microsoft has confirmed that more stock of its Surface Pro will be heading to stores. The head of the Surface team, Panos Panay, posted on Twitter that more 64GB models are shipping to Staples, Best Buy, Microsoft Stores and for online orders, while the 128GB variant will be reaching Best Buy and Microsoft Stores by Saturday.
Some listings replace pop-up holiday shops with permanent stores
Microsoft has listed the first six stores it will launch in 2013, in its attempt to copy the success of Apple and its stores. All based in the United States, the new store locations form part of the software company's plan to open 75 new Microsoft Stores in the next three years, and adds upon the existing 40 stores across the country.
UK stores hinted at through landlord talks
Microsoft will be gauging the public reaction to Microsoft Stores in the US before expanding into Europe. The performance of existing US stores will decide the fate of potential store launches on the continent, though Microsoft has already launched permanent international branches in Canada and Puerto Rico successfully.
Store in Toronto, ON. opened by Wayne Gretzky
Microsoft has opened a new store in Toronto, ON. The location at Yorkdale Shopping Center is now the first outside the United States to have a permanent location, which also happens to be the 31st non-temporary retail location launched by the company, aside from the 34 temporary stores opened in the US and Canada for the holiday season.
Corte Madera opening to follow soon
Ads in Puerto Rico have revealed that the Microsoft Store previously expected to open there will have its grand opening on November 1. The ads were spotted by WPCentral, and confirmed in a post on Microsoft's Facebook page. The new Microsoft store will be opening at the Plaza Las Americas in San Juan, and Microsoft will be opening more stores in Toronto, Ontario, and Corte Madera, California, and other areas around the same time frame.
Performer jumped onto table in first song
An in-store gig by a rapper ended abruptly after he started damaging merchandise. Machine Gun Kelly was hired by Microsoft to perform at its store in the Lenox Mall in Atlanta last Friday, but shortly after starting his first song, he cursed at the machinery on display, jumped onto one of the tables, and started stamping while he performed.
Expansion to include two outside the US
Microsoft is looking to expand its retail operations and will reportedly have 44 stores up and running by the end of its fiscal 2013. ZDNet reports that Microsoft officials have confirmed that number as the company's target for the end of June 2013. A couple of tweets from Microsoft have confirmed that the company will be opening new stores in Orlando and Boston in the month of August. Further, a job posting seeking Microsoft Store personnel reveals that the company is looking to expand to Puerto Rico and Canada in the near future.
Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle subsidized by 2 year contract
The previously speculated Xbox 360 bundle deal from Microsoft has been confirmed to exist. A voucher for the bundle has appeared on the Microsoft Store website, showing a 4GB Xbox 360 complete with Kinect for $99 and a two-year, $15-per-month Xbox Live Gold subscription.
In-store only promotion ends October 31
Microsoft is running a by-one-get-phone-free promotion to get buyers into one of its 14 Microsoft Stores to buy a computer or gaming console. If a customer spends $499 or more, they can also pick up a free Windows phone. The deal is not tied to a specific wireless carrier.
Store follows company's placement tactics
Microsoft is finally preparing to open its Seattle store, which has been placed directly opposite one of Apple's retail outlets. On the Microsoft Store official Facebook page, the company posted an image of the building, which is still under construction, along with a comment promising to open the University Village location sometime in the fall.