The Microsoft store provides a bright snapshot of where Windows is headed. And it's by far the best place to get some positive feedback on Windows 8 devices.
Getting to a Microsoft store isn't easy. That's a problem.
It's a problem because in the wake of the Windows 8 release late last month, the best selection of the coolest devices is at a Microsoft store. Throw in solid ambiance too.
Best Buy? I don't think so. Though my local Best Buy in Los Angeles has a few interesting Windows 8 PCs, like the Lenovo Yoga convertible, it's mostly business as usual.
Same old big box chaos with clam shells that look pretty much like the clam shells that were there last year.
And customers? Microsoft store customers actually seem to be interested in what they're buying, if not obsessing a little. Check out the photo below.
OK, so that photo was taken on the day of the Microsoft Surface launch, but I've been back a few times since and the store is, if not packed, certainly bustling.
So, again, here's the problem as I see it. How do you spread that kind of enthusiasm across the rest of America? Last I counted, there were only a few dozen Microsoft stores.
My advice: hurry up and build more. There are lots of cool Windows 8 tablets, hybrids, and touch-screen laptops out there, and the more top-notch venues to demonstrate this, the better.