<img src = "https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/GettyImages-1248321403-800×450.jpg" alt = "Ironically, this networked Microsoft Store location is seen in New York City on June 8th, is one of the four in the world who become open again – but as an "experience center" where you can't buy anything. "/>
Enlarge /. Ironically, this networked Microsoft Store location in New York City, to be seen on June 8th, is one of the four that are reopening worldwide – but as an "experience center" where you can't buy anything.
Microsoft's retail stores, like many retailers across the country, have been closed for months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, if you were hoping to visit one again because of restrictions in your state, you're out of luck: the Microsoft Store is finally finished.
The company announced the closure today, amusingly, when the Microsoft Store was pursuing "a new approach to retailing," meaning "retail stores are not actually operating." Although four locations – in London, New York City, Sydney and on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington – remain open, they will become "experience centers" where you can see, touch and play with Microsoft products, but actually none buys.
Microsoft, of course, welcomed the "strategic change" as a profit, saying that online sales have grown and the product portfolio "has evolved into largely digital offerings", which will no doubt be the case in 2020. However, Microsoft’s stores, which opened in 2009, never failed to compare to Apple’s retail stores.
This is especially true for Tyson & # 39; s Corner, Virginia, where the first Apple Store opened in 2001. Eight years later, in 2009, Microsoft opened a store in the same mall, and the comparisons were inevitable. Brad Smith, who was then Microsoft vice president and now company president, said at the time that the comparisons were simply "the nature of retail" and added, "You are going to Saks and will see some similarities with." Nordstrom. "
I have also come to the Tyson & # 39; s Corner location regularly for the past ten years. It's in the hallway of the Apple Store between a banana republic and a Tesla showroom. But while the Apple Store always seems to be crowded, both the cars and the crisp button-downs on both sides always seemed to be more fun than the showroom full of surface tablets. With the exception of a few children playing on the demo Xbox devices, the Microsoft Store rarely seemed to attract a lot.