Microsoft pulled back the curtain on its first-ever retail outpost in Europe, a three-story mega-store just down the street from an Apple location in London’s signature shopping district.
Set to open Thursday, the store is one of the company’s largest yet at more than 21,000 square feet, and it boasts several new features for a Microsoft store. It has numerous huge video walls, a business center and even a customized McLaren sports car hooked up to Forza Motorsport 7.
Microsoft has been planning and developing the store for more than two years, and as The Verge notes, it leaned into the history of the more than 90-year-old building. The store is located in the heart of Europe’s busiest shopping area: Oxford Circus, the famous intersection of Regent Street and Oxford Street.
In May, Microsoft said the store is the latest chapter in the company’s nearly 40-year history in the U.K. That includes recently doubling the size of Microsoft’s Azure data center regions in the area.
The first floor features the main retail area, augmented by a contingent of huge 4K video walls and the Forza-connected sports car. Upstairs, on the second floor, is an Answer Desk, Microsoft’s response to the Apple Genius Bar, and a Surface Design Lab where customers can choose from a number of UK-themed designs to be etched onto a Surface Type Cover. The third floor features a business center where Microsoft will demonstrate new products like the HoloLens 2 to potential enterprise customers in London.
According to the Microsoft Store website, the company has more than 80 retail outposts in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and now the U.K.