We went to the MALL OF AMERICA over the weekend as part of our occasional “let’s pretend we’ve never been to Minneapolis before” thing that we like to do (we also went to IKEA!), and while it was enjoyable enough (and at least good exercise – did you know that a lap around the mall is over half a mile?), we basically only spent money on lunch and that was it.
But I did make one very important observation. We had been warned before visiting that Microsoft has done what we in the biz call “copying Apple” and opened one of their famed(?) Microsoft Stores at MOA. Not particularly humorous – I don’t dispute that a branded store for a company with as many products as Microsoft is useful, and putting it in one of the biggest malls ever makes sense. The issue at hand is where in the mall it is: across from the Apple Store.
The problem here is that Microsoft’s stores, as implied above, borrow heavily from the book of Apple in every way; it really is like they took an Apple store and changed the logo. That wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t immediately from their “inspiration” – it was like looking in a mirror. Well, maybe a funhouse mirror. We even noticed that both (at least on the Saturday we were there) have greeters positioned front and center – I like to imagine they spend their day staring each other down when not dealing with shoppers.
But that’s not all! My most memorable mall moment is walking into the Microsoft Store after a brief visit to Apple: immediately upon entering, the floor slopes upward about 6 inches for no apparent reason and with no warning. it’s a little jarring, to be honest, because no other stores that we visited do this. I’m not going to get all melodramatic and say it’s a safety hazard – it’s just weird. I guess they must have done it so they could run wires, but what a lazy way to do things when you have that kind of money to spend.
Then I realized it’s all a metaphor, man. That little jolt you get when you enter the store is preparing you for every little nit you’ll have to deal with when using their products. Sure, they’ll get the job done, but you’ll be complaining the entire time about the dumb little shit you have to deal with while doing so.