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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Microsoft, Sony and Apple wage retail fight in L.A.

Where are you PC fans?

Xbox is played up big

Microsoft is proud of the video screens

Microsoft's theater

Sony Style

The champ

Look familiar? The knock on Microsoft's stores is that they borrowed too much from Apple. The glass and metal store front, the stylish logo are just some of what is reminiscent of Apple stores. Pictured is the storefront of Microsoft's store in the Century City Westfield mall.
Caption by / Photo by Greg Sandoval/CNET
On Tuesday, traffic was light in the Microsoft store during the afternoon. Where are all those PC fans that write all those comments about how Apple sucks? Microsoft stores sell computers from Sony, Dell, HP, and others that feature a clean desktop, no "crapware."
Caption by / Photo by Greg Sandoval/CNET
One of the best features of the Microsoft stores is the massive video screen. Not only does it wrap nearly around the entire store but the screen can be manipulated to operate as one screen or in smaller panels. The screen is put through its paces when Xbox features or games are demonstrated for customers.
Caption by / Photo by Greg Sandoval/CNET
One of the trademarks of Apple's stores is the knowledgeable and friendly sales people. At the Microsoft store in Century City, Steve Perkins, a product adviser, can hold his own with Apple rivals. Here he began to demo Windows Phone using the store's video screens. He shoots video of me shooting photos of him using a Windows phone and the wall screen.
Caption by / Photo by Greg Sandoval/CNET
This is Microsoft's version of Apple's theater and again at the center is a video monitor, but this one is a touch screen that is also equipped with Kinect/Xbox. Steve Perkins throws up one of my previous stories onto the screen to demonstrate. According to Perkins, anyone can walk in and hold a meeting there as long as it is not in use.
Caption by / Photo by Greg Sandoval/CNET
In Century City's Westfield mall, things were quiet at Sony, which operates more than 20 stores in the United States.
Caption by / Photo by Greg Sandoval/CNET
When it comes to competition among Sony, Microsoft, and Apple, there's no disputing that Apple reigns supreme. We'll be able to see how Microsoft stacks up against Apple and Sony more and more. Currently, Microsoft is in six shopping areas that are also home to Apple and Sony stores, including Santa Clara's Westfield Valley Fair and the Houston Galleria.
Caption by / Photo by Greg Sandoval/CNET
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