Microsoft Stores will be hit-or-miss on WP8 launch day
Tomorrow is the first day eager American fans will be able to walk into an AT&T store and walk out with one of three new Windows Phone 8 devices. But what about Microsoft Stores? After all, at the Meet Windows Phone 8 event CEO Steve Ballmer promised that all of their 65 stores nationwide would be selling every phone available. We decided to do a little bit of investigative work and called up about five Microsoft Stores throughout Southern California.
First, the good news: four of the five stores we called said they do plan to have the Nokia Lumia 920 in stock tomorrow, although none could tell me which specific colors they had. On the subject of the free wireless charging pad offer, a rep from the San Diego store told us that the promotion was AT&T-only and that they had no knowledge of whether they would be doing the same. However, another rep from the Mission Viejo store informed us that they are typically informed about what in-store promotions and "freebies" would go along with a product launch the same morning of availability, so there's still a chance you could claim the free accessory.
So what of the Nokia Lumia 820 and the HTC Windows Phone 8X? Only the Mission Viejo store said they would be selling all three devices tomorrow, while the San Diego store said the Lumia 820 and the 8X would be available at a later date. (We suspect this would be true for most of the Microsoft Stores across the country.) In addition, we tried calling one of the Holiday stores but the rep had not heard anything about availability for any of the phones.
All in all, it's a mixed bag. While we'd imagine that at some point during the holidays most Microsoft Stores will be offering nearly all of the new Windows Phones, as of tomorrow you're risking a 50-50 chance. Our advice: call before you make your way to the store (even if you're going to an AT&T store).
P.S. Find your local Microsoft Store here and give them a call. Feel free to leave a comment in the post below if your store is going to have them in stock (it might just help other readers too).