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Microsoft’s Newest Product Is Like Apple in Alternate Reality

2 minute read

Microsoft on Monday will open the company’s first-ever flagship retail location, a New York City storefront located just a stone’s throw from Apple’s iconic Fifth Avenue glass cube.

Visiting the 677 Fifth Avenue location is a little like going to an Apple Store in an alternate dimension. Yes, when you walk in, the first thing you see are the latest Microsoft-made tablets and laptops. But waiting just beyond is hardware that competes with those machines, like laptops from Dell and HP. Meanwhile, the “Answer Desk,” Microsoft’s answer to the Genius Bar, will help you not only with Microsoft gear but with any other tech, too. And colorful displays along with a mock living room to show off the latest Xbox games give the store a more casual feel.

“We want to showcase the very best of Microsoft and present our products in a way that customers see them in the best format,” David Porter, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Retail Stores, told TIME during a press preview event at the new store.

But why bother having physical retail locations at all, when shoppers — especially tech-savvy ones — are increasingly shifting to online ordering?

“We know customers will be on Fifth Avenue, we know it’s going to be a global destination for people,” says Porter. “Customers from around the world will descend on this and we will have the opportunity to interact with Microsoft directly through this Fifth Avenue store.”

See images from inside Microsoft’s New York City flagship store above.

The Microsoft Store unveiling on Oct. 26, 2015.
The flag covering Microsoft's Flagship Store is dropped as the store opens to the public on Oct. 26, 2015.Josh Raab for TIME
Microsoft's new flagship store opening on Oct. 26, 2015 in New York City.
Microsoft Store Microsoft's new flagship store opening on Oct. 26, 2015 in New York.Josh Raab for TIME
Josh Raab for TIME
Microsoft Store A help desk and checkout counter.Josh Raab for TIME
Microsoft Store Dell computers are on sale with other laptops behind them.Josh Raab for TIME
Microsoft Store The glass stairs to the second floor.Josh Raab for TIME
Microsoft Store Displays line the walls of the first and second floors.Josh Raab for TIME
Josh Raab for TIME
Microsoft Store Headphones on sale.Josh Raab for TIME
The Hololens, Microsoft's virtual reality headset, is on display but not yet available for live demonstrations.Josh Raab for TIME
Guitar Hero is setup for all to play.Josh Raab for TIME
Microsoft Store Surface Pro computers with the Microsoft logo that will raise and lower itself with the sun.Josh Raab for TIME

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