Microsoft Steps on Apple Turf with First Northern California Store

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Microsoft opened doors on its first retail store in Northern California just a few steps away from an Apple store.

Apple employees at the Westfield Valley Fair mall in Santa Clara must have had a strong sense of  déjà vu watching people camp outside waiting for the doors to open on Microsoft’s 4,000-square-foot shop today. The proximity is unlikely to go unnoticed, since the mall is about 7 miles away from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

“I feel bad for those guys in Apple,” said Blake Contreras, a 12-year-old from San Jose who stayed overnight so he could be first in line for the grand opening. “Microsoft’s having this big party and the Apple employees just have to sit there and watch.”

Tellingly, the buzz at the Microsoft retail store isn’t about the computers.

Fans waited in line overnight for swag and tickets to free concerts (The Black Keys and Joe Jonas) plus a chance to meet the artists. Pairs of tickets were given away to the first 700 people, assuring that there will be a good crowd for both of the concerts in this pre-holiday shopping weekend. If that weren’t enough to get people in, football legend Joe Montana is playing a Kinect tournament in the store Friday night.

The one event tied to a product makes me wonder whether getting people in to a Microsoft store to actually buy stuff may the real challenge.

Love thy neighbor could take on a whole new meaning if people wander through Microsoft and buy from Apple instead.

Via Inside Bay Area