Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Microsoft Comes to UTC

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Microsoft Comes to UTC

Article excerpt

TECHNOLOGY ARRIVAL

Move over, Apple. The guys from Redmond are here. At 10:30 a.m. today, Microsoft Inc. will open its store at the Mall at University Town Center, part of a major retail expansion the Washington state- based company began in 2009.

"Before the stores, people were buying Microsoft technology, but they couldn't talk to Microsoft," store manager Scott Pokorny said Wednesday.

Now you can. Besides selling all things Microsoft, from fitness watches to Surface tablets to Xbox games and consoles, the store's employees are trained to help existing customers "with a one-stop shop for technical questions, troubleshooting and repairs."

If you know where the Apple store is, this one is easy to find. Instead of turning left as you enter the mall's "Grand Court," make your first right and you won't be able to miss the Microsoft store, on your right.

On Wednesday, while reporters were getting a

preview of what is inside, a five-person team of Microsoft IT specialists were setting up a large double-sided screen right in the middle of the walkway. Like the 20-foot-tall banners hanging from the Grand Court's elevator, these screens are set up so it becomes difficult to ignore the new store.

While the team was kibitzing with each other about setting up the screens, Microsoft IT team principal Scott Jarnagin explained that most of the heavy lifting is done.

"We're just here to support the store, in case something breaks," Jarnigan said. "There's a tremendous effort that goes into a new- store build-out. Everyone wants it just right."

Other Microsoft workers handed out flyers to those passing by the papered-over entrance to the store, trying to encourage a line by 10 a.m. for the opening at 10:30 a.m. today. They were talking up three grand-opening deals. The two you can probably count on are a Dell Inspiron 15 laptop for $399 or an HP Stream 7-inch tablet, including a 32-gigabyte memory card, for $49.

The store will dish out a limited number of Xbox One consoles equipped with the Kinect sensor for $299 each and will sell Xbox Ones without Kinect for $199 per unit.

Straight ahead inside the store's entrance, visitors will find a couple of tables covered with Surface 3 machines. …

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