By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
(Updated) Canadians will be able to buy their Surface Tablets this Fall in the first Microsoft Retail Store outside of the US.
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner confirmed today from the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto that the Microsoft Store will be coming soon to the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Ontario. This is exciting news indeed since there are only 20 Microsoft Retail Stores and all of them are in the US.
This is the first international store for Microsoft and it will be a 6,845-square-foot store that will employ at least 50 new employees. It will be the perfect venue for consumers to get direct info on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, XBox as well as purchase "hero' PCs that offer the pure Microsoft experience (i.e. no bloatware).
Just got off the phone with Tedd Ladd from Microsoft who was able to give some more information about the Microsoft Store coming this fall.
-While there are currently 20 Microsoft Stores right now, the Yorkdale Store will be the 31st when it opens 'in the Fall.' (I think in time for Windows 8's launch). The first Microsoft Store opened in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2009.
-Ladd said the stores are incredibly visual with a large video wall. Families will be able to play Kinect on one side of the store and there will be a dedicated Windows Phone section as well where you can pit your smartphone against a Windows Phone in the "Smoked by Windows Phone challenge."
- Canada will see its first Microsoft Siganture PCs, which are highly tuned and specialized PC's that don't have any bloatware and are designed to take full advantage of Windows.
- Ladd says there will be a huge selection of products for every price point. Everything from high-end gaming desktops to budget notebooks as well as the requisite Microsoft Mice, Keyboards and other devices.
- They picked Toronto and Yorkdale in particular because of the high concentration of techies as well a families. Families and the community are a big thing for Microsoft as they see the stores becoming a community hub. Microsoft will run some charity and donations to the community via the store.
- What I gathered is that this store will be one of many, although it is special because it is the first International Microsoft Store so it will be a model for all International stores that follow