Microsoft Store to open opposite Apple Store near college hotspot

Summary:Near the University of Washington, a Windows store will go head-to-head with an Apple store as it opens opposite. Who will win the campus race?

Microsoft confirmed on Facebook last night that it is planning to open a retail store in the University Village in Seattle.

That's not all. Imagine that awkward moment where you open a Windows Store directly opposite an Apple Store. Oh, wait.

(Image via Flickr)

For those who are unfamiliar with Seattle -- though named University Village, it is in fact a mall just down the road from the University of Washington campus. But, for all intents and purposes, it is the local college mall for new college arrivals.

Opening in Autumn this year, the new Microsoft store should be open in perfect timing for the new intake of undergraduate students.

Mary Jo Foley tells me that this should not come as a huge surprise, considering Microsoft's long standing plan to open up its stores in close proximity to their main rival.

Though the general experience in a Windows Store is similar to that of Apple stores, with open plan layouts and experts on hand to demonstrate in bright, simplistic designed spaces, the two cultures could not be further from each other; both attracting a certain kind of consumer.

But what will be most interesting to observe -- unfortunately, as a native Englishman, I will not be there -- is which store attracts the greater crowd from the student collective?

As previously mentioned, Apple's back to school offering may not be as fruitful as the Microsoft deal -- with new PC purchases over $699, Microsoft is offering a free Xbox 360, with only a $100 gift card for Apple's Mac Store and iTunes to rival it.

Nevertheless, with 80% of students preferring a Mac over a PC, it does not guarantee that the same 80% will be able to afford to buy one.

It looks likely that many will likely flock towards the Apple store first, with many leaving for the Windows store to pick up a bargain.

Any bets?

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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