Microsoft officially opens London flagship Store

Laurent Giret

Microsoft’s first physical retail store in Europe has opened its doors in London this morning, attracting quite a big crowd. The store is located at Oxford Circus, one of the busiest locations in London, and it’s also very close to an existing Apple Store on Regent Street.

Microsoft’s newest flagship store is located in a 22,000 square feet building, and it has a Gaming Lounge on the first floor and an enterprise area on the second floor. The latter will also be used for hosting events, and includes meetings rooms and a showcase area.

This new Microsoft Store in London opened its door at 11AM BST this morning, but many Microsoft enthusiasts had started queuing in front of it as early as 7AM. Microsoft gave free T-shirts and Xbox Game Pass codes to fans in the queue, and the first 100 customers to buy a Surface Pro 6 also received a free limited edition Liberty Surface Type Cover. The Store also includes a Surface Design Lab where customers can create their own Surface Type Cover, similar to what Microsoft has done with the Xbox Design Lab for controllers.

In the Gaming Lounge, Microsoft also allowed visitors to try its new Project xCloud game streaming service. Following the first hands-on sessions last month at E3, public testing for Project xCloud is now expected to kick off in October in select countries.

If you’re unable to visit Microsoft’s new London store today, there will be an Xbox showcase right from the location later today featuring Xbox’s Major Nelson as well as Manchester City soccer player Raheem Sterling.

Cindy Rose, Microsoft UK’s CEO said today that this new London Store was a “symbol of Microsoft’s enduring commitment to the UK”, which allows people to “experience the best the company has to offer.” It remains to be seen if the company could open other retail stores in other European capitals, but today’s big attendance in London suggests that there’s definitely a demand for more Microsoft retail stores outside of the US.