For the couple hundred people camped out in the parking lot at the Shops at Mission Viejo for the opening of California’s first Microsoft Store, the question isn’t Apple or Microsoft. The real question is: Microsoft or Justin Bieber?
As early as 3:45 p.m. Wednesday people began lining up for the grand opening of the store, only the second one in the nation, which opens at 10 a.m. Thursday. Lines are expected to swell to over 1,500 people.
Lured by tickets to a parking lot gig by Bieber, a Canadian tween pop sensation, kids and their parents are huddled in lawn chairs and blankets, trying their best to stay warm.
“I have a 15-year-old daughter who is a die-hard fan of Justin Bieber,” said Stefanie Tran, an Aliso Viejo mom who is camping out for daughter Nicolette. “We’re here for her … but I’ve heard about Windows 7 so I’m kind of excited about that. I want to see how it is.”
Not everyone is here for the show. Navid Zamani, of Laguna Niguel, will wait through the night with the hope that the Microsoft Store will stand toe-to-toe with the Apple Store.
“I’m just happy that they’re finally standing up against Mac. I’m surprised it took them so long to figure out that the Apple Store is the key to their success, to a degree,” he said.
There are advantages to coming early. Patrons including Kevin Pamittan, of Lake Forest, were already rewarded by Microsoft for their efforts.
Pamittan, pictured at top, recieved a Microsoft Zune HD for answering a simple Microsoft-related question. Employees also came to the line with a wheelbarrow full of free copies of Windows 7.
“It makes it worth while, coming out here. Not only just to see the store, but getting all this free stuff will make me a Microsoft fan even longer,” he said. ”I appreciate that they gave out Windows 7 because it shows their appreciation for people who are dedicated and spent the night.”
For information about opening day giveaways and the story behind the store, read the Register’s story about the Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo.
Follow the link to view a slide show showing who is in line a the Microsoft Store and what they had to say about the wait.