They look a lot like Apple Stores, but Microsoft Stores sell Windows PCs and Surfaces and Xboxes. One is coming, if not to a mall near you, then some place near an Apple Store for sure. I popped in to my local Microsoft Store to take a Surface tablet for a spin.
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When Microsoft released the Surface I decided to try one out and went to the Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, N.J., where there is one of two permanent Microsoft Stores in the state, and one temporary holiday store.
Microsoft Stores might not be as common as Apple Stores yet, but there was definitely action in the store I visited. Of course, as you can see in the picture, a lot of the people were staff -- not that a well-staffed store is a bad thing.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.