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Oct 28, 2012

Windows 8とSurfaceを求め長蛇の列――Microsoft Storeがタイムズスクエアに開店

Windows 8とSurfaceを求め長蛇の列――Microsoft Storeがタイムズスクエアに開店 (1/2)

マイクロソフトがWindows 8とSurfaceの発売に伴い、米ニューヨーク市のタイムズスクエアに期間限定でMicrosoft Storeをオープンした。熱狂に包まれた現地から本田雅一氏がリポートする。 [熱狂に包まれたMicrosoft Store期間限定オープン 東京秋葉原のWindows 8深夜販売に負けない盛り上がりを見せるタイムズスクエア マイクロソフトは10月25日、米ニューヨーク市マンハッタン・タイムズスクエアで、期間限定のMicrosoft Storeをオープンした。

 同社は元ウォルマート幹部だったケビン・ターナー氏率いる流通チームが全米にリアルストアを展開している。今回は「Windows 8」と「Microsoft Surface」の発売に合わせて、文化、経済の中心地であるニューヨークに店を構え、ユーザー体験を大きく変えることになるWindows 8とWindows RTを消費者にダイレクトに訴求する戦略を強めていく。

 同社は10月26日のWindows 8発売日に、全米で48店舗を追加の常設店として営業を開始した。計60店舗でマイクロソフト製品、そしてWindowsを搭載するパートナー企業のコンピュータ、周辺機器などを販売する。

 25日夜10時のオープン前、Microsoft Storeニューヨーク店に向かうと、そこにはおなじみの長蛇の列。米国では“Camper”と呼ばれる彼らの先頭は、2日前から並んでいたという。人通りの多いタイムズスクエアだけに、どこからどこまでが並んでいる人たちなのか判別できないが、かなり多くの人が列を作っていたことは間違いない。

 この日、マイクロソフトはタイムズスクエアにある大半のディスプレイをジャック。中心点から周囲を見渡すと、主要な巨大ディスプレイのほとんどにWindows 8の広告が入る演出を行った。道行く人は何が起きたのか分からない人もいただろうが、中にはWindows 8とSurfaceを求めてカップルで列に加わる人もいたようだ。

タイムズスクエアの巨大ディスプレイほとんどをWindows 8がジャック(写真=左)。オープンを待つMicrosoft Storeニューヨーク店の前は、この人だかり(写真=右)

 オープン後の2時間、店内へ順番に購入者を誘導し、さながら戦場と化した混乱の最中にあるMicrosoft Storeに入店した。この辺りは発売イベントに慣れた日本の量販店と比べるまでもない効率の低さだ。

 とはいえ、それでも飛ぶように売れ続ける。Windows 8、Microsoft Surfaceは翌日の発売のため、購入者はいったん外出し、深夜0時以降に再び店内に戻って商品をピックアップした(のだが、店内は相変わらず購入希望者でごった返していたため、商品ピックアップのために別の列を作らざるを得ない混乱に……)。

 取材で列に並ぶことができないプレス関係者は、別途注文することが許されたため、筆者もほかの方々から頼まれた数台をまとめて購入したが、レジの空きが出るのを待たねばならぬ状況。0時10分前に店舗へと戻り、ピックアップして店を出るまでに30分以上かかったが、それでも長蛇の列が残っていた。

MSの新商品発売でフィーバーを呼ぶなんてなんとも珍しい。これで少しは浮上の機会を掴めるか??

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