Microsoft Debuts Kinect, Chicago-Area Retail Store

By Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Thursday, Nov 4, 2010  |  Updated 8:37 PM CDT
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Kinect is an accessory for the company's popular <a title=Xbox 360 gaming system and is forecast to be one of the hottest holiday tech toys." />

Kinect is an accessory for the company's popular Xbox 360 gaming system and is forecast to be one of the hottest holiday tech toys.

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Coinciding with the launch of the Xbox Kinect, Microsoft on Thursday took the wraps off of the Chicago-area's first Microsoft Store.

"We actually timed the opening of this store exactly in time for Kinect.  We are so excited about this store and bringing it to Chicago, I thought we'd introduce our new product at the same time and it's been a hit," said Microsoft spokeswoman Mika Krammer.

Kinect is an accessory for the company's popular Xbox 360 gaming system and is forecast to be one of the hottest holiday tech toys. 
"It's a set of cameras that detects your body, it scans your body, it knows you're there.  If you're playing with someone else, it knows someone else is there, and you are the controller," explained Krammer.

Kinect is on sale now, but will put you back about $150.  The good news: it works with your existing Xbox and includes the "Kinect Adventures" game suite.

Also on display at Oak Brook Center's new Microsoft Store is a new line of cellphones sporting the new Windows Phone 7 operating system, which weaves social media throughout the phone.  The phones, which will go head-to-head with Apple's iPhone, will go on sale next Monday.

Of course, the store also has the PCs and software one would expect and experts that can help make sense of the computers you already own.

"Nine out of 10 people own a Windows PC.  If you've got a question about, 'How do I make a movie?' or 'How do I actually use this camera that's on my computer to keep in touch with my grandkids,' you can bring your computer in here and we've got our people and our associates and they'll sit down and help you use that," said Krammer. 

Another Microsoft Store opened Thursday at the Mall of America outside Minneapolis, directly across the hall from an Apple Store.  It brings to six the company's total number of retail stores.  A seventh will open later this month in Seattle.  The first store opened in October 2009 in Scottsdale, Ariz. 
 

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