The Microsoft pop-up store in the Mall in Columbia officially opened on Friday just outside of Lord and Taylor.
The store is only a kiosk, but it was one of the most popular places in the mall on Friday. The kiosk consists of a couple tables with about a dozen Microsoft Surfaces—the company’s new tablet—on display.
Surface went on sale on Friday and customers seemed excited to try it out. Finding a spot at the table to play with one was tough, with customers spending fairly long periods of time sliding their fingers across screens, tapping away at the flip-down keyboard and surfing the web. The Surface looks very similar to an iPad, with a sleek thin design, one circular home button and the ability to browse the Web with finger control.
It has been meticulously designed,” said store manager Ashley Cannon.
At the kiosk location there were almost as many pink-shirted Microsoft employees as there were people trying out the new tablet.
Cannon said that although larger Microsoft stores have displays for other products such as software and Xbox, the kiosk at the mall was focused on selling the Surface.
“We have Xbox for sale,” said Cannon, “but it’s so popular now that we’ve decided to focus on our new products, particularly the Surface.”
At the checkout Ash Bonebrake, of Frederick, was purchasing a Surface.
“I’ve got to check it out,” said Bonebrake, an app developer. “I need to make sure I have the latest and greatest technology.”
Bonebrake said the feature he’s most excited about is the tablet’s ability to run Microsoft Office, a feature he said is not available on Apple's iPad.
Juan Stevens, of Owings Mills, also bought a Surface on Friday.
“I’m a Microsoft person and I’ve been looking for a good tablet,” said Stevens. “I love the Microsoft services and the hardware is beautiful.”
Surface costs $499 for the 32 GB model, $599 for the 32 GB with keyboard and $699 for the 64 GB model with keyboard.
The store at the mall is one of Microsoft’s 34 holiday stores that opened recently, according to Cannon. Microsoft also has 28 brick and mortar stores across the country.
Microsoft officials at the store on Friday said they didn’t know if the company planned to install a permanent location at the Columbia Mall after the holidays.
Microsoft Store Opening Oct. 26 at Columbia Mall