Scottsdale, AZ — The Microsoft Store here will open two hours early on Thursday to accommodate a surge of customers. Indications are that upwards of six people will appear — at the same time — when the doors open at 6:30 am.
Why all the excitement? Scottsdale chiropractor Marty Lippman tells Microsoft that he’s ready to replace his 12-year-old Gateway PC — and he’ll be coming in with his two pre-school children and brother-in-law Andy, who “knows a whole lot about computers.”
That’s four. But retail experts say the actual number could swell by 50%. The Jamba Juice next door is running a promotion on the same day, making it likely that at least two more people will wander in after they get their smoothies.
Microsoft is seizing this opportunity to outshine Apple in a big way.
“Apple opened at 7:00 am for iPhone 4, right?” says Microsoft Store manager Wayne Brezillo. “We’ll be opening at 6:30 here.”
Needless to say, hearts are pounding amongst the Microsoft Store staff. “We’ve got the synchronized hand-clap, the mindless ‘woooo!’ shout, all that good stuff. We’ll be ready to go at dawn,” adds Brezillo.
The exact timing may be an issue, however. “I want to get there early,” says Marty Lippman, “but we’ll probably stop at Krispy Kreme on the way. Figure more like 8:00 or 8:30.”
Microsoft employees are tight-lipped about what surprises may be in store for customers on Thursday. Scoopertino has learned that the first two customers will receive a “Microsoft loves Lippman” T-shirt, leaving it to the Lippmans to fight it out amongst themselves.
Sources in Redmond say that an extra-large, sweat-resistant T-shirt has been printed, adding fuel to the rumor that Steve Ballmer himself may attend the event.