OK, so I’m here at the University Village in Seattle, and there is in fact a line for Microsoft Surface, stretching around the building, but as I was talking with people it slowly became clear that a significant portion of those in line are somehow affiliated with Microsoft, either as employees, vendors, or contractors.

I did find some people who aren’t associated with the company, and are just enthusiastic about it, based on the commercials and what they’ve heard in the media.

The store is opening shortly, and we’ll have more from the scene later this morning.

Follow-up: VIDEO: Why these people bought a Microsoft Surface

Previously on GeekWireNow will you line up for Surface? Microsoft Stores offer $100 Xbox Music pass … Apple’s Tim Cook: Microsoft Surface ‘compromised’ and ‘confusing’ — like a flying car … Microsoft Surface: The comeback story begins?

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  • http://twitter.com/TroyJMorris Troy Morris

    I’m excited! I’m just not a stand in line kinda guy. And I have a job that I’m at right now.

    • http://twitter.com/SurynLongbotham Suryn Longbotham

      I concur with Mr. Morris. The windows 8 platform looks awesome. I’ve been an avid Mac/Apple user for years but will be trading in my iPhone/iPad for a Nokia and Surface.

      • ess wasim

        You like to be challenged in life, that is not bad thing.

      • Guest

        Experience teaches slowly and at the cost of mistakes. -James A. Froude

  • Luke

    This launch is becoming more entertaining than I thought. Keep the stories coming!

    • Luke

      Just to be clear (because patronizing isn’t conveyed well through the Net), I’m finding it all entertaining for the wrong reasons.

      • Guest

        Thank you for patronizing the Microsoft Store! The Seattle tech community appreciates your business.

  • Guest

    All right! Looks like Surface is a success after all. I’m a bit squeamish about rain and lines, so I preordered my Windows 8 device from the comfort of my home.

    • haha

      Looks like a success because the majority of those in line are employees of the very same company? The same company their livelihood depends on?

      • Guest


        According to Todd, the “litmus test for Microsoft’s new tablet” is: “OK, so Microsoft now has its own stores, and its own tablet. But will it have its own lines, too?”

        As of this morning, that litmus paper is most definitely blue. I think we all know what that means!

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    Microsoft has never been about hype and queues. Leave that to the iSheep who are susceptible to it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/SethThomas98 Seth Thomas

      This should be positive news for Apple folks. These are the same people that stood in line for their iDevice. In fact, they probably don’t know any other way to do it.

    • Bilgepipe

      “Microsoft has never been about hype and queues.”

      So why are they paying people to form queues? Sheep indeed…

      • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

        They’re not. But Apple have been doing that. And if you actually look at Apple queues the first people are mostly sponsors and overseas buyers. The queues are engineered, and totally avoidable.

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    There is no reason to queue. It’s a form of attention-seeking.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    Oh wow, this is interesting.

  • DazzlingD

    I wonder what explains the huge lines seen in NYC, SF, Mall of America etc? Microsoft has a lot of employees but not that many.

  • Guest

    Nice stunt! Surface looks promising though…

  • Forrest Corbett

    So basically Microsoft is forcing customers, who want to see the device, to wait in line just so MS can shill the popularity of the device? Sounds like the same target that thinks trigger charm > settings > power > shut down is better than Start > Shut down

    • Mongo

      If that’s too much for you just hit the power button…?

      • Forrest Corbett

        Windows 8 isn’t just sold for tablets.

        • Mongo

          Got it. So these other machines don’t have power buttons?

          • Forrest Corbett

            Does the physical power button on a computer even come close to replacing the functionality? Not at all. You don’t appear to be a very fluent computer user, so I’ll break it down for you.

            1. The power button generally only offers one function. That function can vary from machine to machine. It can power down a machine, and it can also put it to sleep. On the machine I’m typing this reply on, it can only be pressed and held to hard power off the machine. Most fluent users won’t use the power button a machine to power down, especially if it’s not their own, because there’s no standard function of that button.

            2. The button placement varies. Some have it on the top, some the top of the front, some the middle of the front, some the bottom of the front… and depending on where the machine is sitting, it may or may not be accessible. For the machine I’m at right now, I can’t reach the power button while seated.

            3. Physical power buttons are not accessible in VMs or remote machines.

            4. Restart. The #1 reason I use the shutdown menu within Windows is to restart a machine. Not all PCs have a restart button, and for those that do, it’s usually a hard restart.

            4.5 There’s other functions in that menu which are now represented by physical power buttons, even if they are accessible. For example, putting a machine to sleep or choosing to power down without applying pending updates.

            Hopefully by now you get the idea that the physical buttons on a machine are not replacements for those in the UI.

          • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

            It’s the same number of clicks with an added swipe. And Win 8 is so good you don’t want to turn it off.

          • Forrest Corbett

            If only that were the case. Again, as I mentioned above, it’s two clicks to shutdown in W7, three plus a hover in W8. Start > Shutdown vs trigger charm (hover) > Settings > Power > Shutdown. Also, that hover state is very painful on remote machines or VMs in window mode. The hover area is just 1px x 1px. That step alone is much more difficult than the entire process has been since at least Win95.

    • Guest

      Who shuts down a laptop? Standby and hibernate, more viable options in the 21st century, can be triggered by simply putting the cover on.

      • Forrest Corbett

        That depends on the laptop. Some will not standby/hibernate/sleep when the lid is closed. This can cause some to overheat, even damage the screen. Quite a few laptops, IME, still have problems waking from standby.

        • Guest

          What laptop do you have that doesn’t support standby, hibernate, or sleep? I’ve been laptopping since the mid-’90s and my compus have always supported these capabilities. You might want to try stopping by a Microsoft Store and asking for a cleanse of your laptop. Dirty software may interfere with proper performance.

          • Forrest Corbett

            I didn’t say they “don’t support standby.” I was responding specifically to your (?) comment about closing the lid. I have experience with maybe a dozen different laptops that shipped with Win7. A mix of Dells and Lenovos. Roughly a third of those have problems when the lid is closed. The action for this is user configurable and there is not a standard default. I know a lot of people who will walk around with the lid open to just to avoid problems that occur by closing the lid. I’m sure they probably all support standby or hibernate, but often the user has to use the UI to trigger that as simply closing the lid isn’t reliable.

          • Guest

            I’m sorry that you find the power options so confusing on Windows. A Microsoft Store technician can help you avoid walking around with a partially-open compu.

          • Forrest Corbett

            Who said I walk around with a partially open computer? Life is easier when you stop making stuff up.

    • Panipuri

      Actually, seems more like people are waiting in line till the store opens.

  • Luis

    I generally don’t way in publicly on these things, but I have to say that the challenge with trying to compare the “hype” with MS Surface to say the Apple iPad is that Apple has developed a “Lifestyle” around its product. I personally use PC’s still and have not made the “switch” but then I don’t treat my products as “lifestyle” products although I buy nice high end laptops. Its more for productivity. Apple’s iPad maybe at par, better or worse than the feature set of Windows 8 and the surface, but until it’s “cool” to be using one, people should stop trying to compare the hype. Lifestyle vs. functionality.

  • SufaceSkeptic

    Odd that MSFT employees would stand in line for one…when they’re all being given one from their employer.

    • indian908

      fyi, Couple of my friends working in Microsoft were in that line

  • http://twitter.com/warex3d warex3D

    How exactly do you know that those peopole are affiliated with Microsoft?

    • Panipuri

      Haha, so true.

  • Reality

    Nice stunt. Surface has potential tough.

  • Microsoftie Reborn

    I Love Microsoft products especially Windows 8, Surface & WP8. If that make me “associated” or “affiliated” with Microsoft, so be it. You use the term “associated” as if it’s a sinful, evil or taboo thing to be link with Microsoft.
    The future is here and its Windows 8. And the New Cool Thing is Microsoft Surface.
    Deal with it babe !

    • Bilgepipe

      Apple queues are full of genuine Apple customers, Microsoft queues are full of paid shills and staff. Can you not see the difference here? Really?

      • Panipuri

        Paid shill? Where in this article is written someone’s a paid shil.

        • jay_max

          I think the paid shill is right above your comment. ;-)

          • Panipuri


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