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Who says that lighting doesn’t strike twice? Well today Microsoft proves such naysayers wrong by launching their second store in the state of CT.  Adding to their already established Danbury, CT store the Redmond based company has grown it’s approximately year old kiosk that previously occupied the lower level of the Westfarms Mall in Famington, CT into a full fledged, gadget filled sibling to it’s older Danbury based brother. The familiar monitor lined walls surround customers as they peruse all of Microsoft’s latest Windows powered laptops, hybrids, tablets, XBoxes and Windows Phones(which will be receiving a massive OS update this Spring). I stopped by the Grand Opening Event today to snag some pictures and videos. The store was packed, the energy high, the staff upbeat and engaging and the customers….well check out some of the pics and vids for yourselves.

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The Experience

The store looks great and the staff seem genuinely excited about their new digs. They were actually also advertising another huge event coming up on March 10th, 2014. The store will be hosting a midnight extravaganza for the highly anticipated XBOX title Titanfall.  If you’re in the area and want some more of that Microsoft goodness I’m sure you will be welcomed with open arms. You might even walk away with an unexpected goody or two.

Location, Location, Location
Microsoft has planted two feet firmly in CT with these two locations one on the westward end toward NY and now this Farmington location located snug against the state’s capital toward the middle of the state.

This new location, due to it’s central positioning in the state will make Microsoft’s wares more accessible to the denizens of the state hailing from every corner. Granted some will have a greater haul than others but it certainly beats traversing the length of the state while looking to satisfy ones Windows Phone or Surface thirst. One must also venture to think that Microsoft’s deliberate choice of a location so nigh the states central government and business hub, Hartford, our states capital is laden with some deeper strategic motives.

An ability to influence, via their community outreach positions(a recent job post), schools and businesses as well as government establishments, I am certain is a key strategy to this stores location. Making the surrounding community aware of what the company offers and the benefits it’s tools add to various establishments and business entities are components of that recent job post.

Additionally Connecticut is home to some of America’s most affluent citizens making our humble little state one of the richest in the union. Microsoft is wise to dangle thier colorful, yet powerful gadgets before a populace able to afford thier higher end products as they continue to drive costs down through innovation, partnerships and business decisions such as thier lowering of licensing fees, that make more and more of thier devices more competitive on the lower end where Android thrives.

Look at Me Now

This launch was huge. People waited in extensive lines  sleeping over night to be part of the extravaganza. The company commendared the entire face of the entrance to the Mall claiming this territory as their own.  My excitement was so high, the pomp so splendid, that it was like driving up to an amusement park. Microsoft, once a stodgy old business entity has been mocked by Apple in commercials which quite frankly, more than Microsoft might want to admit, did accurately reflect what Microsoft used to look like.

The images above in which one can behold a splash of vibrant colors adorning Microsoft staff and merchandise, loud music (though not my flavor) that excites staff and customers; and walls composed of a cascade of television monitors that are alive with dynamic images of Microsoft’s products and services are the new image of Microsoft. This is the image that the Redmond company is extending to the masses reaching for the hearts and minds of the consumers.

Make no mistake, Microsoft is still fully committed to it’s core strength, the enterprise, but the devices and services giant realizes that with the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend that is influencing IT,  that the devices that consumers choose to buy for themselves are becoming the devices that they are also using for work. The consumer space is where giants like Apple, Samsung and Google have had greatest success and through which they are making inroads on Microsoft’s turf, the enterprise. The consumer space is also how these Microsoft competitors have established themselves as the market leaders in the mobile arena. Yes they are titans. But with launches like today’s launch of the Farmington Store here in CT, the message from Microsoft is clear. The gauntlet is thrown. I think they are ready to see some Titans fall.

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