Grand opening celebrations for the first Microsoft Store in Australia take place today as its Surface Book, Pro 4 and Microsoft Band hit its minted store shelves.
The store, situated in Westfield Sydney on Pitt street, is the first to be opened by Microsoft outside of North America. Neighbours include the Samsung Experience Store on the block and the Apple Store on George Street.
Coinciding with the store opening is the release of Microsoft’s first notebook, the Surface Book, and the Microsoft Band, both of which are being exclusively sold by Microsoft.
Fifty staff members versed in 21 languages will work at the store. Forty of them will be dedicated to selling Microsoft products, while the remaining ten will support customers at Microsoft’s answer desk.
Troubleshooting for products running Microsoft software will be handled by staff at no cost, including software installation and virus removal.
Appointments can be made but are not necessary, and support will be offered for Apple and Android products running software developed by Microsoft.
Featured in the store is an on site theatre that will be used to hold community classes on Microsoft’s range of products.
On display is Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, which goes on sale today, and its upcoming Windows 10 smartphones. Pre-orders for the Lumia 950 and 950XL open today and the phones are scheduled to go on sale ahead of the Christmas rush.
Competing against Microsoft’s tablet-notebook is a 12.9-inch iPad tablet. Apple opens pre-orders for the iPad Pro today with the rivalling tablet expected to be available in store “later this week”.
Microsoft celebrated the opening by donating $4.8 million in software and technology grants to 11 not-for-profit organisations. The first 750 visitors will also be rewarded with two tickets to an exclusive concert by Jessie J.
Microsoft opened its first retail store in 2009 and has since opened more than 110 retail properties, while it has online stores in 189 countries.