Microsoft retail store opens doors; hundreds waited in line

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 05:55 PM

Chris Wall waited 16 hours inside The Streets at Southpoint for the Microsoft Store opening.

He, like the other several hundred people in line, waited for a chance to play Xbox One with Duke alumnus and retired NBA basketball player Grant Hill.
Hill, along with state Sen. Mike Woodard and former Duke basketball player Christian Laettner, attended the opening for the first Microsoft retail shop in North Carolina, which lasted throughout the day Thursday.
“Durham has been on our radar since we opened our first store four years ago,” said Jonathan Adashek, general manager of communications strategy for Microsoft.
Microsoft opened its first store in Scottsdale, Ariz., and has since opened 103 stores internationally.
While a DJ blasted music and Duke cheerleaders chanted, Microsoft donated $700,000 in software grants to local organizations including the Daniel Center, Marbles Kids Museum, Emily K. Center and YMCA of the Triangle.
“We rely on technology for (our) programs,” said Jennifer Nelson, associate vice president of communications for YMCA of the Triangle. “For us, this is wonderful.”
Nelson said the $500,000 donation from Microsoft will assist in bridging the education gap through tutorial programs provided by theYMCA.
The 2200-square-foot space has walls that project video from the Microsoft devices in the store, three-dimensional printers for sale, Microsoft phones and Xbox consoles and games. The store also has an answers desk, which Adashek said really sets it apart from other retailers.
“We don’t care where you bought it (or) who made it,” he said. “We’ll try to help.”
Adashek said the Microsoft Surface tablets, the Lenovo computers, and the Xbox One are extremely popular items.
Lenovo, which is based in Research Triangle Park, has a partnership with Microsoft.
Woodard noted at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that North Carolina has the fourth highest number of Microsoft employees in the United States.