Microsoft has opened the doors to its first store in Europe. The store is right in the heart of London’s West End on the corner of Oxford Circus – an area that 600,000 people pass through every day.
There’s something for everybody including a gaming lounge so you can experience the latest games, a theatre for learning about the latest topics, a help desk enabling you to get assistance with PCs and Xbox as well as a dedicated area for business.
There's even a McLaren Senna hypercar you can sit in to play Forza Motorsport 7!
The store covers three sprawling floors and we’ve got a gallery of photos (below) so you can see inside the store.
Pictured here at the opening is (left to right) senior store manager John Carter, Microsoft global chief marketing officer Chris Capossela and Microsoft UK head Cindy Rose.
“We've wanted to bring a flagship to London for a very long time,” said Rose at the launch. “Today's opening means that we now have a physical space where we "can share the very best of Microsoft with everybody.
"Our ambition is that this is a place where people can do so much more than just shop. It's a place where they can learn new skills, where businesses can grow and where we can build long term links with the communities in our neighbourhood.”
The location will be open seven days a week and marks the first time Microsoft has opened a store outside of North America with the exception of a single store in Sydney, Australia.
Click and collect is available so you can order online and pick up your product in person. There’s also a concierge where you can register for a workshop or an Answer Desk appointment.
Here the first customers enter the store - note this guy is a serious Microsoft watcher with his Windows XP t-shirt.
“The store will provide free access to resources and tools for every customer, from enterprise companies to small businesses to educational institutions to consumers,” said David Porter, vice president of Microsoft Store. “We look forward to providing a new way to experience the best of Microsoft from demo to purchase, and with ongoing tech support, training and workshops”.
As part of the launch, Microsoft announced a £1 million grant for UK Youth, The Raspberry Pi Foundation and The London Community Foundation to help young people access central London to be taught digital skills that they might not otherwise have been able to access.
The areas of the store are as follows:
Designed primarily for students, parents, teachers and small businesses, the theatre will host free coding and summer camps, STEM Saturdays and SMB Wednesdays.
A one-stop-shop for technical questions, troubleshooting and repairs – think Apple’s Genius Bar under a different name. Microsoft says you can get help with any Microsoft product or service regardless of where it was purchased or what brand it is – so you can get Windows help with your Dell, HP or Lenovo laptop for example. There are several free services including working out what’s wrong with Windows 10 and diagnosing other issues, software repair or support, virus and malware removal, PC tune-ups, and more. You can schedule a one-on-one appointment if you wish.
The lounge is designed as a showcase for the latest Xbox and PC games and is a location where you can get hands-on with the latest titles. But Microsoft says it will also. Host esports gaming tournaments while the venue is equipped with Europe’s only Thronos Predator gaming chair.
With a changing roster of different experiences including a mixed reality tour of Oxford Circus through time from 1800 on, the centre is primarily designed for business to experience the latest tech that they might want to bring onboard. Product advisors are on hand to chat through Office 365 and other work apps.