Microsoft has finally announced a launch date for its bricks-and-mortar store in London, and the doors will open on July 11.
The UK’s flagship store is located on Oxford Circus and it’s spread over three floors, representing some 21,932 square feet of retail premises. Interestingly, Apple’s Regent Street store is very close, being effectively just down the road and less than a minute’s walk away (as was previously speculated, Microsoft has indeed taken up residence in the former United Colours of Benetton building).
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Microsoft is promising video walls throughout the shop, and interactive zones where punters can get a chance to play with Microsoft’s hardware such as the Surface, HoloLens, as well as games stuff across the PC and Xbox.
The company’s further stressing the connection to customers and community, with indeed the presence of a ‘community theatre’ which will run free workshops and courses on a range of tech, coding or STEM learning topics, alongside the likes of games tournament.
Frequently answered questions
There will also be a Genius Desk – sorry, Answer Desk, what were we thinking? – staffed by experts on Microsoft’s products and services who can provide support and repairs for customers.
An actual physical UK store has been a long time coming, so it’s good to see it finally arrive, especially considering that Microsoft has had bricks-and-mortar outlets in the US for a decade now (and in Australia since 2015).
As well as providing a handy place for support, at least for those based in London, it will doubtless help a lot for folks to get some hands-on experience with Microsoft’s products, and to understand, for example, the actual ‘feel’ of a Surface Pro hybrid (it’s a robustly-made tablet which oozes quality construction, at least in our opinion).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).