If you’re a Mac maniac like me, then news about Microsoft’s new Hawaii store is just…meh. But because I appreciate innovation and technology, I thought I’d give it a chance.

We strolled through the sleek new store at Ala Moana Shopping Center, which looks scarily similar to the Apple Store across the way. Stations set up with Microsoft’s latest gizmos and gadgets filled the store, allowing customers to get hands-on with their products. Meanwhile, spunky staff members bounced back and forth between the sea of customers.

All the while, I still couldn’t help but think how much the Microsoft shop mirrored Apple’s. But, hey, familiarity can be a good thing for customers that are also creatures of habit. They’ll walk right in and know exactly what to do.

The store opened this month with an ingenious marketing tactic. They gave away free tickets to a concert later that afternoon, featuring my favorite artists Neon Trees and Macklemore. Thousands showed up to nab some tickets. What a great way to get people through their doors!

Another great marketing strategy? Microsoft donated more than $1 million in software grants to local Hawaii organizations, including the YMCA of Honolulu, Goodwill Industries, Girl Scouts of Hawaii, Palama Settlement and Hawaii Community Foundation. Great PR for Microsoft but even greater opportunities for Hawaii’s keiki. So, mahalo, Microsoft for being so giving! Let the healthy competition between Apple begin!


• Ala Moana Shopping Center, second floor near Macy’s • 808-954-3800 • www.microsoft.com


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