While running errands at the mall, I swung by the relatively new Microsoft Store. And, as you can see from the pic above, they’ve done a nice job duplicating Apple’s iconic store design… with the addition dark woodgrain surfaces (bad) and rich projection displays (good). Not to mention red store employee t-shirts replace Apple’s blue.
Speaking of those store employees, two confirmed reports that they’re accepting $25 deposits on the flagship Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone (on AT&T). However, as I tweeted, it’s pretty absurd to pre-order a device that has no announced launch date or pricing. So, of course, I pushed the staff for details. They stated rather factually that I could request white or black Lumia 900 hardware which they expect to release in the second half of March, after the 15th. Unfortunately, they weren’t so certain on pricing. One employee figured the Nokia handset would run about $200, while the other conferred with the manager who wasn’t given concrete details but inferred it’d be made available between $150 – $199.
The timing lines up well with the rumored March 18th launch date, but I’m somewhat bummed they couldn’t (yet?) corroborate a $100 price tag to undercut the competition. Until we know more, the Samsung Focus Flash remains my favorite Windows Phone. But only time will tell if it sees WP8 software and/or Skype video conferencing. Which you can pretty much guarantee will find its way to the Lumia 900.