Microsoft to open first store in Hawai`i | Business
The media got an early look at Hawai`i’s first full-line Microsoft store today in the Ala Moana Shopping Center.
However, its location is interesting.
It is across the Apple Store.
“At the Microsoft store, we want to be easy to find and be very welcoming,” Microsoft Ala Moana Store Manager Noelle Neverdon said. “I don’t think it’s a competition thing. We want to be good neighbors and celebrate technology overall.”
Microsoft’s grand opening is tomorrow at 11 a.m. They are planning to give away free prizes including free concert tickets to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with Neon Trees.
One Hawaii woman began standing in line for the store’s debut at 10:30 a.m. this morning – not for the store’s merchandise – but for those tickets.
“Macklemore – my daughter is a big fan of theirs so she made me come in and stand in line while she’s at school,” Lei Amoroso said.
“Even without the concert, the community is very excited for the Microsoft store to open but why not cap it off with an incredible concert,” Neverdon said.
The concert will be at Kaka`ako Waterfront Park. Gates open at 4 p.m.
Microsoft will present its Surface tablets and XBOX games. And for other consumers, they are focused on showing its wide range of products.
“Our strategy is to make sure that not only can our community and customers of all ages be more comfortable with technology but have an offering whether it be a tablet or all-in-one or a laptop – just finding the right solution for everyone,” Neverdon said.
Amoroso admits that she is an Apple user, but welcomes Microsoft into Honolulu.
“The kids will have a better selection and choices,” Amoroso said. “All of my kids went to college and they all picked up Apple [products] because that was the only thing here. But now at least the up-and-comings will have a better selection.”
And fellow Hawai`i resident and Apple user Jonas Vibell agrees.
“I hope there will be some friendly competition between them and I can go back to considering buying Microsoft things,” Vibell said. “I think this is something they should have done a long time ago and I’m curious to see what it will be.”
One of Microsoft’s missions is to give back to the community. They are donating more than $1 million in software grants to local organizations.
Microsoft is donating $500,000 each to YMCA of Honolulu and Goodwill Industries, $150,000 to Hawai`i Community Foundation, $50,000 to Girl Scouts of Hawaii and $25,000 to Palama Settlement.
“The community has really embraced us,” Neverdon said. “We’ve reached out to different organizations – spent some time with them and developed some partnerships because that’s part of our culture.”