A Microsoft cafe in Paris? Oui!
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Though construction on the cafe is still in process (here are some photos), Wi-Fi is already available to people strolling on the sidewalks. In addition to serving up fancy drinks (no word on whether we'll be sipping Bing lattes, Bill Gates mochas, or Xbox smoothies just yet), the cafe will be a place where visitors can test out new products, including Windows 7, Xbox, and mobile devices.
"This initiative expresses our intention to meet with the general public and show the new Windows experiences on PC, mobile and on the internet," a Microsoft representative told CNET News. "People will be able to discover Windows 7, the Windows phones and the Windows Live services."
Visitors, however, will not be able to purchase any Microsoft products here – only drinks and snacks will be sold. It's also worth mentioning that the Windows Cafe is not a permanent fixture on Paris' 47 Boulevard Sebastopol – it will only be open for a few weeks this fall.
The opening of a Parisian technology cafe is just another step in Microsoft's attempt at an image makeover. This fall, Microsoft will open two retail stores and more are expected to open across the country next year within close proximity to Apple Stores.
To promote the release of Windows 7, Microsoft has also launched an array of TV advertisements hawking Windows 7 features including customizable desktops; "Aero Shake," a de-cluttering desktop program; and the ability to watch TV shows from your PC. Microsoft is also inviting people to host Windows 7 Launch parties, where attendees will learn about the new operating system and install it while munching on goodies at a personal gathering with family and friends.
There's no doubt there's always been a battle between Mac fans and PC users (just look at the "I'm a PC vs I'm a Mac" commercials on TV). Earlier this week, Microsoft was said to have been offering higher wages as an incentive for Apple Store employees to abandon ship.
For now, we'll have to wait and see if cups of coffee and the arrival of a new operating system will attract new PC fans in Paris.
Nintendo sold 277,000 Wii units in August – a 39 percent decline over the same time last year. Read more.