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Microsoft’s first store inside the Seattle city limits will open Thursday morning, and as with other Microsoft store openings around the country, hundreds of people are expected to be waiting in line … to score free tickets for their favorite band.

Yes, the new store at the University Village shopping center is generating plenty of buzz, not as much for the store itself as for the fact that the first 1,000 people will get tickets to see the Grammy-winning Black Keys on Friday night or the band OneRepublic on Saturday night.

But surely someone will be camping out for a rare glimpse of a Windows Phone, right?

OK, in all seriousness, GeekWire will be covering the opening and we’re actually looking forward to having an authentic Microsoft store just down the road. If you’ve been to the Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square or elsewhere around the country, you know that the company’s retail locations are actually pretty cool.

And this one is across a small parking lot from a newly renovated Apple Store, literally facing off against the competing tech giant in Microsoft’s backyard, a physical manifestation of the competition between the companies and between the two a pretty good place to check out the latest in technology.

If you see me out there tomorrow, be sure to say hello. Taking a page from Microsoft’s strategy, the first 20 people who ask will get a limited-edition GeekWire laptop sticker, absolutely free.

And good luck getting those tickets.

Previously: Microsoft touts Kinect at tiny hut in shadow of Apple store

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