Microsoft may be announcing the launch of a number of ‘holiday stores’ just before the sales rush at the end of the year. This doesn’t come as a susprise considering it has a slew of upcoming products on the hardware and the software front. These holiday stores will not only help in selling and marketing its goods and products but they have another important role as well. The stores will aim to teach and facilitate users with Windows 8 and what the new operating system brings to the table. Naturally, with the Start button gone now, bewildered users may have to be shown the way around Windows 8. It’s not that these are going to be the first Microsoft stores. The stores are present, but there aren’t that many of them around to cater to a wide audience. All the stores are located in the U.S as of now. 

Microsoft has also published a couple of job postings. Here's an excerpt from one of the job postings: “If you love to share your excitement, engage with people, and empower them to explore all the ways Microsoft technology can make a difference in their lives, we should get to know one another. The Product Advisor will be the primary provider of product knowledge and sales support, before and after the sale, for Microsoft retail customers. This person is one of the first points of contact for our customers.”

Troubled times..

Holiday Stores, coming soon

While Microsoft may have to showcase the features of Surface to its customers, here is a gist of the highlighted features of Surface:

  • Software: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.
  • VaporMg: The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.
  • Integrated Kickstand: The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front-facing or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
  • Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.

Microsoft states that with the fast and fluid interface, easy connectivity, information and apps that users care about most, Surface will be a premium way to experience all that Windows has to offer. Is it an iPad killer? Is this the start of a new revolution in the post PC era? We’ll know soon for sure. 

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