The Microsoft Store is a new retail experience created by Microsoft to feature Windows products and other Microsoft products. I’ve made two visits recently to the Microsoft Store in Freehold, NJ for two very specific reasons. My first visit was the weekend of Hurricane Sandy. I had purchased a Microsoft Surface and wanted to figure out which keyboard cover I wanted for it. Microsoft had been featuring the Touch Cover heavily in its promotion and I was curious how it would work. Also I wanted to see how much bigger the Type Cover was comparatively. When Crystal and I arrived that fateful Sunday afternoon we found a store that was more crowded then the Apple Store. The walls were filled with people all trying out the latest Windows laptops and desktops with Windows 8. In the center was an island dedicated for the newly released Surface. An older gentleman came approached me and asked me what brought me in to the store that day. I told him I wanted to pick out a cover for my Surface. He took us over to a private area on the side where there were Surfaces setup with all of the covers in every color available. I began to try out the different options while our helper watched on. He knew when to ask questions, keep silent, and when to provide factual anecdotes about the products. It was a low pressure, very relaxing retail experience that stayed with me for a long time. I spoke at great length about it on our Microsoft episode of The Customer and the Service and was left with one very solid retail experience at the Microsoft Store.
Today I went back in because I wanted to pick up a case for my Surface, a custom decal, and I wanted to see what the Wedge Mouse was all about. The store today was just as crowded as it was the first time I went in there. I immediately went to the back of the store to pick out my case. Went with the basic red one. After that I approached a sales person and asked about the custom decals. She put me in touch with a guy name Samuel. Turned out Samuel was the in house decal expert. I knew this was the guy I needed to be talking to when he showed me his Surface:
Anyone who knows me, knows that Ryu and Akuma are my two favorite Street Fighter characters ever. Samuel proceeded to take my artwork and worked with me in creating the perfect decal for my Surface. He did an amazing job and even went online to find additional art to make it look even better. After we worked up the art, he rang me up for the case and the decal and told me to come back in 30 minutes and it would be done. He also said to bring my flash drive back as he wanted to show me something cool I can do to improve the look of the front. While checking out there was an ASUS tablet at the checkout bar with the Wedge Mouse and I got a chance to check it out. I wasn’t impressed. Anyway…
30 minutes later I returned and my Surface looked amazing. Samuel then took my flash drive loaded up the art from the front and positioned the graphic in a specific way that completed the entire front of the Surface’s decal. It truly was impressive. I shook Samuel’s hand and told him I’d be back again some day for another decal.
All in all my two experiences at the Microsoft Store have been nothing short of incredible. If you’re a Windows person or if you’re curious to see what is going on in the Windows space, I strongly suggest you take the drive to the Freehold or Bridgewater New Jersey Microsoft Stores. I can almost guarantee you will not be disappointed.