by LIZ MARCHESE Staff Writer
New Microsoft stores opened recently in major cities such as Austin, Texas and Palo Alto, California, starting competition with their major opponent, Apple. The Microsoft store that opened in Austin, Texas is two doors down from an Apple store. It seems that Microsoft’s strategy is to try and lure Apple customers to the Microsoft store. This will allow customers to compare the products of Microsoft and Apple. Beforethe physical stores, Microsoft products were usually sold in places such as Best Buy and Target. Apple always seemed to be the more popular choice, but now that new Microsoft stores are opening, they could steal customers away from Apple. “I’ve always liked Apple products better because I feel they run faster and they are more user-friendly. I own a lot of Apple products, including an iPhone, iPod touch, MacBook Pro, and an iPad,” says freshman Nicole Moscillo. The products in both stores are a little different. Microsoft has the latest PCs, tablets, Xbox consoles, and even Windows phones. Meanwhile, Apple stores only contain Apple products such as iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and Macs. There are also best-selling products in both of the companies. Microsoft’s latest best-seller has been the Xbox Kinect, while Apple’s most recent best-seller is the iPhone. Both stores do have a similar display, though. The products in Apple and Microsoft stores are laid out so the customers can try out the devices and see which ones they want to purchase. When customers purchase a PC at a Microsoft store, employees help the customers personalize their new computer. This will get customers familiar with their new computer and allow them to ask employees questions about the device. “The Microsoft Store offers a wide variety of the latest Windows-based devices and software. This extends our vision of delivering great experiences to customers not only while using their devices, but also while shopping for them,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate Vice President of the OEM Division at Microsoft. There will also a Microsoft store opening in the Freehold Raceway Mall. The Apple store is a short distance away, but there were still be competition lingering between the two. “I like both Apple and Microsoft products. I think they both provide equal entertainment. I’m an owner of an iPhone and a PC, and they both satisfy my needs. I think the new Microsoft stores will be just as popular as the Apple stores,” says freshman Kirsten Pasedwalt. As more Microsoft stores open, the competition will rise between Microsoft and Apple. More competition means more advertisements, and maybe even more new and improved products.