Last Saturday, my family and I did the unthinkable. We went to the Domain in Austin, and purposely walked into the Microsoft store. For those who know my husband, you know this is a pretty big deal. He is a die hard Apple fan. I am typing this on a Mac, we have a Macbook, iPhones and iPods in our house.
So, what would get me, and my family, to go to the Microsoft store? I was given the opportunity to work with Microsoft and The Motherhood and learn more about their stores and what they have to offer. I went into this with an open mind, I really wanted to know what the fuss was about. I’ve been to the Apple store before, and knew that these types of stores offer help and support and you can buy great products from them.
The Microsoft store takes it even further though. The bloggers participating in this program had a conference call with Melinda George, Training and Development Specialist from Microsoft. She started the call telling us all about the offerings and products at the Microsoft store. Talking to us about the Answer desk, personal training (for your device, not your body heehee!), and even the availability of the staff to give you personal shopping sessions.
What really caught my attention though was the theater space they have for community events. As Melinda started talking about this, my curiosity was peaked. Summer camps, birthday parties, homeschool classes, Boy and Girl scout badges earned…what?? This was right up my alley.
I asked more about the theater space. I learned that Microsoft really wants to work with the community and help those in their midst. Melinda told us about summer camp for kids. The camps are for kids ages 8-13, start June 3 and are 2 hours a day M-F for a week at a time. Topics for camps include: Digital Movie Madness, Digital Art Smart, Gamemasters, and Storyteller Studio. For the teenage set some stores offer an App Builder Class. And, not to be forgotten, they even have a class for the preschool set! Tech for Tots Camp focuses on kids ages 2-5 and the little ones learn keyboard skills, how to use Kinect and about technology that impacts their lives.
Now, if you are like me you are thinking, Ok, this sounds great, but it is going to be pricey! Here’s the best part – this is all FREE! Seriously, no cost at all. The only thing they ask is that parents stay in the store while kids are having their classes. Another item that caught my attention was the ages allowed in the camps. 2-5 and 8-13. Um, I have a 6 year old, what can she do? When my family visited the store, I asked the manager about this. He said that the ages are just a guideline. Kids who fall in the 6-7 age range can go to either depending on their maturity and where the parents feel they would best fit.
While we are on the topic of free, they also host gaming events! When my family visited the store, a birthday party was just wrapping up. Mom and Dad brought their son and some of his friends, had pizza and cake and the boys got to play Kinect and XBox for the birthday party in the theater! This is a great party idea and something my kids want to do now.
When Melinda told us the Microsoft store was very kid friendly, I was dubious. I mean really? Kid friendly and computers don’t typically go together. So, we put it to the test. Middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, Jeremy and I took our 4 hooligans to the store to see what the fuss was all about.
We were pleasantly surprised! There was something for everyone! Seth and Amelia played MineCraft on a HUGE screen, Libby and Elliott played with the paint program. They all had a blast and didn’t want to leave when it was time. Jeremy and I enjoyed seeing the tablets, phones and computers. To see features on the Windows products we liked better than on our iPhones, and vice versa. We realized that both products are really great. I particularly love the touch screen options on all the computers. It made playing on the computer so much fun for my kids.
Whether you are a die hard Mac fan, or a Microsoft lover – there is something for everyone at the Microsoft store. Go check out your store and see all they have to offer. And be sure to take the kids, they will have a blast!
To learn even more about the Microsoft store and how they can make your life easier, join me and the other Microsoft bloggers for a Twitter Party!
When: Tuesday, May 14, at 1 p.m. ET (the party will last one hour)
Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #GoMicrosoft hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite: http://twtvite.com/GoMicrosoft
Prizes: We will be giving away six prizes to randomly selected winners. Five winners who answer trivia questions during the party will receive $25 Microsoft retail store gift cards, and one grand prize winner will be chosen for a $500 Microsoft retail store gift card!
Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann
TweetGrid for the party: http://bit.ly/11SJxNf
To make this even better, Microsoft and The Motherhood have given me a $100 gift card to the Microsoft Store for one of you!!!
This post is sponsored by Microsoft and part of the Motherhood. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.
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