Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street will be home to Microsoft’s upcoming flagship store in the Asia Pacific. It will be where the buck stops on troubleshooting and where it starts on signature edition hardware.
The 6000 square metre Microsoft store will spill across two levels on the same block as the Samsung Experience store and in close proximity to the Apple Store on George Street.
An ‘Answer Desk’ inside the store is where existing customers can receive troubleshooting relief, most of the time without cost, said Jonathan Adashek, the GM of communications strategy at Microsoft Global.
“We don’t care where you got it, we don’t care when you got it, we don’t care who made it. If you have a problem or a question on something that touches our ecosystem, bring it in. We’re going to help you solve that problem and answer that question.
“You could pay $150 to $300 to get a virus off your machine. We will do it for free."
Microsoft has been in the midst of a transition under chief executive Satya Nadella. The company nowadays leverages its software on rivalling ecosystems, including those belonging to Apple and Google.
“People can come in and ask us to put Windows on their Mac or Office on their iPad. We’ll do it for them. They have to buy the software, but we won’t charge them for the labour."
Most of the store will be dedicated to sales, said Adashek, before stressing Microsoft will not compete against its retail partners on price.
“We’re not out here to be the lowest price leader. We’ll be competitive on price, but I don’t see us going to market less than retail.
“The sales floor is pretty expansive, but we’ve got the ability to do the service. We do see great demand for the products we’re selling."
Signature Edition computers will be exclusively sold from the Microsoft store. They will run a version of Windows free from third-party software.
“Everything we sell out of our stores will be a Signature Edition PC. We remove all of the bloatware, but then we optimise the image on the machine to really have the best experience.
“It makes it cleaner, but that cleaner also makes it faster because it’s more efficient."
The company’s website claims Signature Edition PCs boot 104 per cent faster and shut down 35 per cent faster than those sold by a third-party manufacturer.
“They are available at just our stores,” Adashek said during an interview with PCWorld.
Featured in the store is an on site theatre that will be used to hold community classes on Microsoft’s range of products.
“We’re going to offer free classes and free workshops. We’ll be doing a series of [Windows 10] workshops. We’ll definitely highlight all of our products.”
Approximately 50 to 75 people will staff the store, including a dedicated on-site trainer and a small business specialist. Training will vary between six to twelve weeks, depending on the role.
The Westfield Sydney store on Pitt Street is the first outside of North America. Its grand opening is scheduled to take place in “late spring”.