Microsoft has opened a pop-up networking space in central Madrid that will offer talks and concerts as well as showcasing some of the company's hardware and software products.
Microsoft Space (el Espacio Microsoft in Spanish) is located on Calle de Fuencarral, just north of Madrid's city centre. The pop-up opened this week and will run until 5 January next year. Microsoft hopes the Christmas holiday period will entice 20,000 people to its Space during its six-week run.
The Madrid Space is the only one Microsoft has planned in Spain for now.
The company describes it as a "meeting point" where consumers can drop by for talks with 30 experts during the pop-up's six week run, including entrepreneurs, app designers, musicians, designers, and artists.
Microsoft says Space will house:
- A co-working space where people can use Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, Windows 8.1 machines, Windows Phone and Office365.
- Microsoft Talks, which will be sessions and workshops focusing on the impact of technology on everyday life. Chefs Paco Morales and Dario Barrio are schedule to appear, as is Alfonso Alcántara, who describes himself as a consultant in employment and enterprise 2.0.
- Concerts with Spanish musicians such as Juan Zelada and Bravo Fisher.
There will also be a demo area, where along with its own Windows Phone and Windows 8 hardware as well as devices from LG, HP, Toshiba and HP. Visitors can try out its newly-released gaming console, the Xbox One.
However, any new Windows converts wanting to buy anything at Space will be disappointed. The store is only intended for Window shopping, and would-be buyers will have to go elsewhere to actually buy any of the gear.
The somewhat puzzling strategy mirrors similar initiatives in other European countries: Microsoft opened a pop-up shop in Stockholm last Christmas, but didn't take any orders itself there, either — although it did at least partner with a local online retailer to allow customers to buy hardware direct from the shop.
In Spain, shoppers will have to finish off their purchases online or find their way to the nearest PC City.