A crowd turned out for the Microsoft store ribbon-cutting ceremony, including Steve Gleason (foreground).
A new Microsoft retail store opened today in Lakeside Shopping Center. The 1,081-square-foot outlet is the 108th Microsoft store in the country and the second in Louisiana, though the first was "more of a kiosk," says Jonathan Adashek, Microsoft's general manager of communication strategy.
"This is our first full-line store [in Louisiana]," Adashek says. "Coming to New Orleans has been a priority for us."
To celebrate its grand opening, Microsoft donated more than $950,000 in software and technology grants to six local organizations: Audubon Nature Institute, Girl Scouts of Louisiana East, Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana, Louisiana Children’s Museum, STEM NOLA and Team Gleason. Steve Gleason was among the attendees. "We are really going to invest in the New Orleans community and become part of its fabric," Adashek says.
Microsoft opened its first store in 2009, five years after Apple debuted its high-gloss, cube-like shops. Adashek says Mac loyalists are welcome to bring their machines to the Microsoft "answers desk" for repair and updates.
"We don’t care when you bought it or who made it, bring it in and we will help you fix it for free," Adashek says. "You could bring your Mac in to the store — truly, we don’t care who made it."
The store offers a "curated" selection of devices ranging from phones and computers to Xboxes and tablets. One hot product, the Microsoft smartband, is sold out online and available only Microsoft stores. Targeted at fitness enthusiasts, the band monitors heart rate, steps taken, calories burned and sleep quality and works across platforms to deliver email, texts, calls and social network updates to the wearer's wrist.
On Saturday (Nov. 15), the festivities continue with special deals and an in-store appearance by Shaquille O'Neal.