You know those “I’m a PC” commercials?
I always thought they were cute. And clever.
But not for me.
Meaning, I’m a Mac girl — all the way.
But then I ventured into the new Microsoft Retail Store in Overland Park — and I’ll be honest, I can see them winning me over. Especially their new Surface tablet, but more on that below.
(By the way, I went to the store in Overland Park, KS, because that’s where I live – but there are more than 50 stores all over the United States. You can find one near you HERE).
Microsoft Retail Stores
The space itself is fantastic. It’s open, bright, friendly — a technological wonderland.
There are demo stations with the latest and greatest in Microsoft gadgetry — the Surface, desktop & laptop computers, the Xbox 360 (with a huge library of games to play) and their full line of smartphones, including the fantastic Windows phone.
The store is completely child-friendly; I took my boys and they spent 3o minutes playing MLB 2K13 on the biggest screens they’d ever seen. (I continue to be awed by the graphics of the XBox.)
The staff was incredibly hands-on and helpful — including teaching my nine year-old a hack he never knew for setting up his team. (Which apparently was “the coolest thing” ever for said 9 year-old.)
Classes & Camps
In the back of each store there is an open class room/ event space, where Microsoft Retail Store employees host weekly classes about everything tech under the sun. There are educational workshops, business events, developer workshops, interactive gaming sessions, and toddler tech time. And all of them are FREE.
There are even FREE summer camps for tots and big kids. And yes, I did sign up my 9 year old for a week-long camp on programming your own video game (G-d help me!).
I also learned that Microsoft Retail Stores will design & host your event – whether it’s for a homeschool group, a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troupe, a youth group, a lunch-and-learn… Whatever you can dream up, I think you’ll hear a “Yes!”
You can even host a birthday party at the Microsoft Store (and yes, that’s FREE, too).
Find out more about classes, camps & events at your local Microsoft Retail store HERE.
Support & Training
If you already own a Microsoft device, you may want to take advantage of their free one-on-one product training & support sessions.
Whether your issue is hardware or software, or you just want to learn how to take full advantage of all the capacity your gadget comes with, they can walk you through it. Even if you didn’t buy your laptop/X-box/phone/tablet at their store — they will help you! (And yes, it’s FREE, too.)
So of all the gadgets in the store, the one that really had me singing a new tune was the Surface. Have you seen this tablet yet? For a Mac girl, I was totally WOW’ed.
It answers all the hesitations I’ve had about getting a tablet — you see, I have feared that a tablet won’t give me enough capabilities. And that I’ll just end up using my laptop anyway, while the kids played games on the tablet (which seems like way too much money to spend on a “toy” for them.)
But the Surface Pro is essentially a tablet-sized laptop. (Or should that be a laptop-capable tablet?)
And I’m not gonna lie, the keyboard that clicks onto the Surface? So cool. (The pretty keyboard colors are nice eye candy, too.)
The apps are also amazing. No, you don’t have the whole ipad app store at your disposal (which is the only downside I see), but you get incredible things like Fresh Paint. Even my seven year-old “art project-averse” kid got into it!
As I said, I was definitely impressed. And because I think you’ll be impressed too, I am thrilled to be able to give away a $100 Microsoft Retail Store Gift Card to one lucky Kosher on a Budget reader.
Here’s how to enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite tech gadget – Microsoft or otherwise. This comment is required to be entered to win this giveaway.
For up to four additional entries, you may do one, some, all or none of the following:
Like Kosher on a Budget on Facebook, then come back and leave a separate comment telling me that you have done so. If you already like KOAB, thank you — just leave a comment to that effect.
Subscribe to the Kosher on a Budget Newsletter for a once daily dose of the best deals, money-saving tips and more. Please leave a separate comment that you have subscribed (or were already a subscriber).
Like Microsoft Retail Stores on Facebook, then leave a separate comment to let me know you have done so.
Follow Microsoft Retail on Twitter, then leave a separate comment to let me know you have done so.
This giveaway is open only to residents of the United States who are 18 or older. Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, May 22nd at 11:59 p.m. CST (I’m giving you plenty of time to enter, since Shavuot is in the middle of next week). The winner will be selected randomly and notified by email immediately. He or she will have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!
My glowingly positive opinions of the store and the Surface are all my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations. And also because I want you to know. For more information about sponsored content, please see my Disclosure Statement.