Microsoft’s Times Square store on the night of the Windows 8 and Surface launch in October. (Janet I. Tu / The Seattle Times)
Microsoft has closed its Times Square store — a central site of the company’s flashy Windows 8 and Surface launch last October.
The Times Square store was one of about 30 temporary, “pop-up” stores that the company opened for the holidays. Many of those continued on after the holidays, rebranded as “specialty stores” that are smaller than Microsoft’s full-scale retail stores.
A Microsoft spokesman declined to say why Microsoft is closing the Times Square location, other than to issue the following statement:
We can confirm the Microsoft Times Square holiday store closed in mid-January.
Through the Microsoft Times Square holiday store, we had the pleasure to bring customers the unique Microsoft Store experience and the opportunity to engage with technology that impacts the way they live, work and play. The location was intended to support holiday sales of Microsoft Surface and Windows 8, and continues to be an important market for us moving forward.
Customers in the New York area can continue to experience the best of Microsoft products and the same excellent choice, value and service at our specialty store located in the Shops at Columbus Circle or any of our nine full line and specialty locations in the tri-state area.
The Times Square store was in a prime location right on Broadway and looked more like an actual brick-and-mortar store, as opposed to the mall kiosk-type setups typical of other Microsoft specialty stores.
In addition to the smaller specialty stores, Microsoft has more than 30 full retail stores, on its way to a planned 75 over the next several years.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley was the first to report on this story.