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Microsoft opens temporary store in Stonebriar Centre Mall
Microsoft began setting up its temporary holiday store in Stonebriar Centre Mall earlier this week. The store will sell products using the company's new operating system, Windows 8. Photo by Kelsey Kruzich.
With the launch of Windows 8 today, Microsoft is releasing one of the biggest overhauls of its signature operating system since the company released Windows 3.0 in 1990.
To go along with the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft is opening 34 temporary holiday stores across the United States and Canada today as well. One of those new stores is in Frisco's Stonebriar Centre Mall.
Jonathan Adashek, general manager for strategy and communications at Microsoft, said Stonebriar was chosen after careful consideration.
"There's a lot that goes into choosing where we're going to do a store, whether it's permanent bricks and mortar store or a temporary store," he said. "Most of our stores are in malls, so we look at the traffic in those malls and the areas they're in. There's really a science that goes into picking spots, and Frisco is definitely one of the top locations in the country for us to put a store."
Microsoft opened its first stores three years ago for the launch of Windows 7. Since then, the company has seen more than 13 million customers visit those stores. The Windows 8 launch might be even more important.
"This is really Windows reimagined," Adashek said. "We see the launch of Windows 8 as a big moment for computing in general. With that in mind, we wanted to increase our footprint to meet the demand for Microsoft-enabled products."
In addition to Windows 8, the company also plans to launch Windows Phone 8, its new smartphone operating system, in three days.
The temporary store in Frisco will feature tablets and laptops running Microsoft's new operating system, including Microsoft's own tablet, Surface.
Surface runs Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 modified to work on low-power ARM chips that allow devices to be smaller and last longer on a single battery charge. As a tradeoff, however, older Windows applications won't work on Windows RT devices.
"I think Surface is a great device -- consumers are going to be very interested in seeing and using Windows on a new form factor," Adashek said. "Microsoft is confident Surface is product that people are going to want to use."
A specific date for the closure of the temporary stores hasn't been announced, but they will be open at least through New Year's, Adashek said.
Stonebriar's temporary Microsoft Store is 10 feet by 20 feet, limiting the selection of products available. Adashek said the limited space will ensure only the best products are available to customers.
"We're very excited about these stores -- we're building relationships with our customers one at a time," he said. "We look forward to coming to Frisco and providing people with a great experience. The fact that one of only 34 locations will be at Stonebriar shows the importance of Frisco to us."