Bellevue Square Microsoft Store Grand Opening

When the curtains dropped it was a proud moment for Microsoft. The 7th Microsoft branded retail store opened Thursday at Bellevue Square. The Store is in Microsoft’s backyard, and will be heavily trafficked by ‘Microsoftees’ as Steve Ballmer mentioned in his short, yet enthusiastic speech to the public.

Beginning as early as late afternoon Wednesday customers started lining up to get their chance to see the new Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square, as well as to ensure that they would receive a ticket to the Miley Cyrus concert that Microsoft promised to the first 2,000 customers.

The Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square brings together an immersive experience showcasing productivity software, computers, Xbox, Kinect, Windows Mobile 7, and several other related gadgets.

Interesting facts about the Bellevue Square Microsoft Store opening:

  • Only a handful of software titles are featured on the shelf at the store, but in back there is a system that has over 2,000 software titles.  This system can burn a CD of the requested software for customers.
  • On Thursday at the opening Microsoft  gave away $1.4MM in charitable donations within the community including: Cleveland High School – $200K, Bellevue School District – $200K, First Robotics – $500K, King County Public Library – $500K
  • The store ran out of tickets for the Miley Cyrus concert at 2 PM on Thursday
  • There is a dedicated associate at the Bellevue Square store for community outreach (40 hours per week)
  • The store is 5,374 Square Feet
  • There are 50-60 employees on staff
  • When Mika Krammer, general manager of merchandising was asked about the similarities to the Apple Store design she answered by saying “We took the best from all of retail.”
  • Krammer also communicated that Microsoft would see slightly faster pacing of new stores in 2011

The night was topped off with a secret, and unexpected concert. At 5:00 PM Microsoft leaked the concert details that included Dave Matthews Band to play outside the Microsoft store at 7:00 PM.  The Dave Matthews Band performance lasted for an hour with viewers trying to get as close as they could to watch the free performance.

The weekend celebration continues with several events including an appearance by Apolo Ohno on Friday, and a Miley Cyrus concert on Saturday.

Dave Matthews Band Grand Opening Bellevue Square Microsoft Store

Dave Matthews Fans Bellevue Square Microsoft Store


  1. Man, AWESOME OPENING! Now THAT’s how you do it! The store interiors are incredible and state of the art, never seen anything like it!

  2. Still cracking up over the fact that Microsoft had to hire musicians to bring people into their new store. MS is trying so hard to come up with a winner… with something…. unfortunately, their time has come and gone. They use to be the leader, now they’re just trying to play catch up…. copying whatever works for other companies.
    Kind of sad to watch, actually.

  3. Shane, dude, walk 3 stores down & take look at the Apple store. You know, the one that MS copied badly & cheaply for their store.

  4. MS donated $1M to local schools ( only if they sign a subscription contract with MS) but they paid Hanna Montana $1.1M to sing 6 songs for 25 minutes ( not hour long concert as advertised)

    MS: Hanna Montana
    Apple: The Beatles


    Have you bothered checking the financial details of most celebrity charity events? It’s the same deal, it’s not only Microsoft.

    And tone down the antiMicrosoft rhetoric, yeah? You’re sounding crazy.

  6. Grey: Uhm…Have you ever seen MonkeyBoy BaldyBot Ballmer running around a stage, screaming at the top of his lungs, sweating like a pig with high cholesterol, ranting like a madman & sticking out his tongue like Gene Simmons?

    Videos are all over the Internet of this…

    But I’M the the “crazy sounding one”? NOT.

    Take a look in the mirror & ask the question…who the eff are you Mr/Ms Grey?

  7. Um, yeah…it doesn’t really matter if you’re an advocate of msft and their products or not, it’s an overall consideration of the fact that a local organization’s success has provided benefits for us all to enjoy. Those taxes rolling in to the state are funding the streets you drive on and education system you apparently were not able to take advantage of. Don’t bite the hand that feeds. Just enjoy what you are fortunate enough to benefit from for doing little more than making uninformed comments and generalizations. The antics of a CEO or promotional marketing strategies having nothing to do with product viability or store aesthetics. If you truly look at this store as a bad copy and cheap attempt…your biased opinions have clearly made you crazy, checkmate.

  8. I use an Apple computer, yet understand the value and importance of having Microsoft located in the Pacific Northwest.

    Regaurdless of why, or the intentions, Microsoft gave away $1.4MM back to the community to local organizations for the opening of the Bellevue Square store. You really have to applaud them for this.

  9. OK: MS Windows OS CDs are mass produced/burned in Nevada so a WA based corporation can save MULTIMILLIONS in taxes per Nevada State law. That money did NOT go to WA State & Olympia was forced to slice education budget to the bone.
    GOOD for WA? NOT.

    When Redmond wanted to increase property taxes on MS campus because of the demand on utilities / infrastructure MS threatened to move to Issaquah & build a new campus there. Good for Redmond? NOT.

    MS needed a new bridge over 520 to MS Campus Redmond because of traffic demands & impact on infrastructure, MS paid for that right? NOT. ONLY a small portion & WA tax payers paid the lion’s share of it.

    BaldyBot is doing such a lousy job as CEO his yearly bonus was denied by shareholders/ Board as his performance / stock price was low. He sold a big bunch of his stock making the stock price less valuable. So MS is donating money NOW to the schools when they are opening a new store & not paying big bonuses? IF it benefits MS FIRST then they are generous with donations BUT with a web of strings attached to dictate to the schools HOW they can use the money on MS monopoly terms.

    Oh & finally they have also laid off THOUSANDS of employees & abused THOUSANDS of temp “contractors” who worked for them for years with no benefits/stocks WAY longer than the law allowed until the judges / class action lawsuits forced them to treat workers with respect.

  10. Ok, I’ll take a shot at it.

    Really, you start off your complaint of MSFT by saying that they are outsourcing their production of CD to Nevada and sending them millions of dollars a year? MSFT’s revenue was $16.2Bn for the last quarter; they made $65.8Bn over the last 12 months! That amount of money is nothing in the grand scheme of things and yet your concern is over a few million dollars. You really think that because MSFT outsourced a few million to Nevada that Washington “was forced to slice education budget to the bone”… Give me a break, what about the other $65 BILLION that MSFT brings in?!?

    You also implied that MSFT should make business decisions regardless of the tax implications and should not diversify their employee base. You said that Ballmer was a bad CEO, but I would argue that he would be a bad one if he went with your advice. With regards to Ballmer’s bonus, yes he did not get his full bonus of 200%; however, he was by no means denied his bonus, he still got a bonus of 100% of his base salary! Also, it was not his “lousy job as CEO”; rather it was due to the MSFT’s loss of market share in the very competitive mobile phone market. What you failed to mention was the $24.1 billion operating income, the launch of Windows 7, Office 2010 and Bing were all cited as positives for Ballmer by the board of directors. But don’t let facts get in your way… He did a “lousy job as CEO.” LOL

    As for Ballmer selling his stock. Rumors has it that Ballmer sold “a big bunch of his stock” to try bring the Sonics back in town as well as build a new stadium. One of the rumored sites for the stadium is Bellevue’s dilapidated auto row. Are you still going to hate on MSFT and Ballmer if he builds a new stadium and brings the Sonics back? Just the mere fact of Ballmer trying to get the Sonics back makes me like him more.

    Face it, why don’t you just come out and say you don’t like MSFT instead of hopelessly trying to make them look bad. They have done more to this area then you can ever imagine yet you still seem to want to put them down. If I were you, I would just accept what MSFT has done for the community and get on with your life.

  11. BelJo: As history has shown WA that whenever a MS billionaire buys a team & builds a stadium that is is totally at their expense & not on the WA taxpayers, right? NOT!

    Microsoft has a severly reduced business tax rate compared to other WA business thanks to MS Lobby & Ross Hunter, so NO they do not pay their fare share of taxes to support WA State.

    BaldyBot & Citizen Gates dumping MS stock to avoid paying their fare share of taxes as some of richest people in America.

    Nevada State Tax Dodge by MS hurts WA State. Look it up at WA State Gov site regarding budget gap due to loss of tax revenue.

    Billion dollar tax dodge via Nevada MS Office.

  12. LOL to be a good reference it should be unbiased. Trying to bring people to a website called “” does not seem unbiased; it seems like a website to further someone’s agenda. Does the author of this website really think they have outsmarted and found something in the tax code that the SEC and Deloitte & Touche LLP (MSFT’s auditors) somehow missed? LOL If you and the author really think that MSFT is doing this illegally then you should file a lawsuit against them. I think I know how it will turn out. I heard lawyer fees are expensive!

    Why do you think over 50% of U.S. publicly-traded corporations and 60% of the Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware? TAX HAVENS! Does that make it illegal? NO! This is no different then MSFT using Nevada. Are you going to go after all the other Company’s in Washington State that uses another state to save some taxes or do you just want to target MSFT? I think we all know the answer to that.

    Also, can you please explain to me how when Ballmer and Gates sell their MSFT stock they can avoid paying Capital Gains Tax? If you know I think we all would be really interested in finding out.

    Best of luck on your lawsuit,


  13. Oh dear…

    LLIBSETAG, you are a giant Apple fan. And you should know that Microsoft and Apple are publicly traded companies, so they normally practice business in the same way, the ultimate goal is to minimize costs, maximize profit for shareholders.

    Both are well-respected companies and both try to take advantage of the system within the boundary of the laws.

    So it’s very very stupid to think one is angel and one is evil.

    Now, can we go back to discuss Bellevue and you can go back to MacWorld forum?

  14. Speaking of Ballmer & the Sonics… I would really love to see him bring a NBA team back to Seattle.

    He has a passion for basketball. Maybe when his time is up with Microsoft he will re-consider?!

  15. TAXES / Stock sell info per CNET:

    WA State Tax Initiative & Ballmer’s Battle of the Billionaires:

    Seattle Tech News : Nevada used for Tax evasion by Microsoft & effect on WA:

    “Reuters is reporting that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is selling 75 million shares of his Microsoft holdings netting $2 Billion. By selling the stock before the end of the year Ballmer saves $100 million in capital gains taxes. Capital gains tax rates are expected to rise to 20% next year from the current 15%. After the sale Ballmer will still own over 350 million shares or 4.2% of Microsoft.
    Steve Ballmer was quick to say “Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion. I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people’s lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success.”

    NOTE: Mr. Ballmer is free to do as he wishes with all of the money he has earned from Microsoft & to plan his financial future as he pleases as do all Americans.

    Peace out people.
    Over & out.

  16. @Bob

    I am with you… I sincerely hope that’s something he is considering, especially now he just got a little cash of $2 billion from stock sellings.

    I will love it even more if the stadium can be on Eastside but that’s a bit far fetched. =)

    There was an article not long ago about Kings having a dispute with Sacramento city about stadium renovation (deja vu…), let’s wait and see.

  17. Geeezz..get a grip people. It’s just a new store in Bellevue Square that hired 50-60 people that needed jobs. Bottom line, new retail is good for everyone.