Randy Guthrie, Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist
This morning at 10am, Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer for Microsoft Corporation cut the ribbon at the Grand Opening of the new Microsoft Store, located at the Park Meadows Mall, on Lone Tree, Colorado near Denver. About 120 people camped overnight outside the store, and by 9:30am, about 500 people were in a line that wound throughout the upper level of the mall. Prior the ribbon-cutting, KT announced three cash/product grants worth $450K to three local not-for-profit organizations: Denver Girls Scouts, Denver Museum, and Kidsville.
I arrived at the store about 8:45am and there were about 300 people in line. Microsoft employees walked the lines handing out special grand-opening tee-shirts, water bottles and Cliff Bars. In the 20 minutes leading up to the ribbon cutting you could hears cheers and applause coming from inside the store; obviously there was some kind of employee pep-rally going on inside. Just past the front of the store an incognito (sans badges and logo wear) group of local Microsoft sales and marketing folks gathered.
At 10am, with a count-down from seven (for Windows 7) to zero, Kevin Turner cut the ribbon, and the huge banner covering the front of the store dropped revealing the super high-tech interior filled with the latest in computing, gaming, video and mobile technologies. As the customers streamed in, KT gave them a big “high-five” and they were herded to the the theater area at the back of the store where they received a gift bag containing a commemorative aluminum water bottle, BING squeeze ball, an X-Box video game (my bag had Lego Indiana Jones II), Microsoft lip balm, and some “I’m a PC” stickers.
The atmosphere was very fun and upbeat, and even the folks from the Apple Store downstairs took the time to drop in and welcome Microsoft to Denver.