In Microsoft’s pop-up store in Times Square store today, there was a little confusion, a little curiosity, and a lot of resemblance to another big tech company.
Microsoft opened a pop-up store in New York’s Times Square to promote and sell its new Windows operating system and its Surface tablet.
But the reaction to all three has been a little mixed. It’s uncertain what sort of demand Windows 8 will see, and reviewers say the company’s Surface is innovative but lacks apps.
In the stores, meanwhile, there’s a little confusion, a little curiosity, and a lot of resemblance to Apple.
The software giant officially unveiled Windows 8 yesterday during a New York event. To bring more attention — and garner more sales — it opened two temporary Windows Stores in New York, one in Times Square and the other in the Time Warner Center near Central Park.
Visiting the Times Square store felt a little like deja vu. Everything from the floors to the employees looked a lot like the fixtures in Apple’s iconic stores. Windows Store workers were wearing brightly colored shirts that say “Click in and do more,” and all had badges around their necks with their name.
The Windows Store itself featured large signs on the walls showing close-ups of Surface and minimal amounts of text, and demo stations were set up neatly around the room for customers to actually try out the tablet and its keyboard options. The Surface tables were pretty busy, though the Windows 8 table looked pretty lonely.
Both Manhattan locations are in heavily trafficked areas, which means the store clientele is a sort of hodgepodge of tourists, businesspeople, and Microsoft fans. In the Times Square location this morning, all of the visitors really wanted to see the Surface, but there also was some confusion about what it’s capable of doing.
One of Microsoft’s pop-up stores is in the Manhattan’s busy Times Square.
Microsoft employees patiently walked customers through demos and tried to explain the benefits of the Windows RT system. But no, they admitted, it doesn’t do some things consumers are used to doing on Windows, like playing certain games.
For some people, that didn’t matter. Melinda George, manager of the store, wouldn’t provide CNET with sales details, but she did say the store is running low on certain Surface products.
“We’re selling out fast,” she said.
One such buyer, Mark (who declined to give his last name because his boss thought he was on a bathroom break), said he owns Apple products and likes them, but he wanted something with broader functionality than the iPad — namely, access to more traditional PC applications.
He shrugged off concerns about legacy compatability and a shortage of apps, saying that happens with every new platform. And he noted that people always seem to find something to criticize about Microsoft.
“Microsoft could come out with immortality and people wouldn’t be a fan,” he said.
And Carlos Vargas and Federico Comes, lawyers from Puerto Rico in town on business, each bought a Surface after first considering the Barnes & Noble Nook.
“The Nook is fine is you really just want an e-reader,” Vargas said. But he wanted to access Office and other programs through his device.
Federico Comes and Carlos Vargas get a demo from a Windows Store employee.
Most people seemed pretty absorbed by the Surface, with one couple from out of the country saying they didn’t have time to talk because they wanted to focus on checking out the device.
And some of Microsoft’s own execs were checking out the store and new device, as were employees from partners like B&N.
The Times Square store opened at 10 p.m. ET yesterday, welcoming about 600 waiting customers, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman. At 10:30, Microsoft had a steady flow of visitors, and a security guard told CNET that about 1,000 people had entered the store between 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
How many of those became Surface buyers is unclear. But if Microsoft’s main goal was getting attention for its new OS and device, it appears to have succeeded.
Intersection | NYC
Born and raised in rural Ohio, photographer Navid Baraty‘s artistic passion led him from his unfulfilling days of working as an engineer to becoming a photographer in San Francisco and then New York City. He became obsessed with photography because of its universal ability to engage our senses and tell a story. Navid wants his work to accurately portray the human condition and shape the way people think about the Earth.
Navid’s work has won numerous awards and has appeared in publications and exhibitions worldwide. His work has also been used in a large-scale installation.
Let’s take a look together at 38 quality picks from his portfolio. Enjoy!
Intersection | Tokyo
Designer and art director Yoni Alter just tipped us off to an exciting new poster he’s just completed. (Yoni’s the one behind those famous rainbows and cloud posters we just loved.) Called Colossal NYC, it shows some of New York City’s tallest buildings ordered chronologically, or arranged in order of the time they were completed. He starts with the Statue of Liberty and ends with the Four World Trade Center, which is scheduled to be completed in 2013. Love the bright colors and how he’s included each of the building’s names.
“I’m fascinated by Manhattan’s overwhelming architecture,” Yoni tells us when we ask him why he created this poster. “As there an endless amount of skyscrapers in New York City, I was after the ones with interesting shapes. Coming up with the correct shapes and dimensions involved quite a bit of research. We don’t notice it from our limited street-level perspective, but we are walking around monumental sculptures. Each one has its own character and that’s, essentially, what I wanted to highlight in this print.”
Between a year-long jail stint and the whole Hot 97 fiasco involving Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne hasn’t had much luck in New York City of late. So, when MTV recently asked about his opinion of the city, Wayne said “Flat out: I don’t like New York.”
Well New Yorkers don’t take any guff, even when it comes from a world-famous rapper.As Complex reports, State Senator Malcolm Smith, members of the hip hop youth council, and tourism officials will hold a press conference in Times Square this afternoon, where they’ll demand an apology from Lil Wayne.
Update: Watch a clip from the press conference below.
According a press release:
“The rapper publicly said he flat out don’t like New York. New York City is the birthplace of the Hip Hop music movement. Millions of New Yorkers listen to his music every day. His comments have outraged his local fans and residents. The group today will be demanding an apology of the hip hop star. Lil Wayne has had misfortune in New York with recent gun charges and a jail sentence.”
Below, you can watch the MTV interview where Wayne makes the incriminating comments.
New York City is widely recognized as one of the greatest metropolitan areas in the world. It’s fascinating to see the rapid evolution of its skyline from 1879 to 2013, when One World Trade Center will be complete. Within that long time frame, the city has lived through many transformative events, including the Great Depression in the 30’s and September 11th in 2001. One can only wonder what it will look like over the next 100 years, especially as technology exponentially advances and global warming becomes a more pronounced concern.
When Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai started building their location-sharing startup, Foursquare in 2008, they chose New York City for their headquarters. Crowley’s kitchen table in the East Village served as their first workspace.
“We never even had a conversation about, ‘the only way to make it succeed is to go to California — should we pack up our stuff?’ ” he says.
Given that the pool of web developers was so much bigger in Silicon Valley, Crowley’s decision might have seemed risky. But in the past few years, a growing number of startups have seen the Big Apple as a viable alternative to the San Francisco Bay area.
This growth is fueled by a confluence of factors: the rise of several prominent startups, including Foursquare and the crowdfunding site Kickstarter; the arrival of venture-backed accelerator programs to help young startups get off the ground; a pool of engineers who have come to or stayed in the city as companies like Facebook and Twitter built offices in New York; and New York City government’s moves to encourage tech innovation.
Today, Crowley occasionally serves as a startup mentor in the city, taking meetings with students and nascent entrepreneurs in New York the way respected tech veterans have long done in Palo Alto or San Francisco. “That stuff that’s been going on for 20 or 30 years in the Valley is just starting to happen,” he says.
It’s hard to say precisely how many startups there are in New York City, but an online map from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office lists nearly 1,000 that are hiring. New York Tech Meetup, a nonprofit organization, took about seven years to get its first two members.
But by April 2011 it had 15,000 and now 26,000, says Jessica Lawrence, the group’s managing director. Monthly meetings, which are held in an 850-person theater, cost $10 and lately have been selling out in less than a minute, she says, forcing the group to offer simulcasts at other locations for those who can’t be there in person. One of her group’s goals is simply to remind people that there is an abundance of software engineers in New York.
Venture funding is growing as well. According to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, the amount of New York City-based startups that received venture funding rose 34% between 2007 and 2011, while deals in Silicon Valley declined 7% and those for the country overall dropped 8%.
Last year, venture investors plowed $2.75 billion into 390 startups in the New York City area — the most money and investments since 2001, when the dot-com bubble was rapidly losing air in Manhattan’s “Silicon Alley” and everywhere else, too. So far this year, $942 million has been invested in 182 startups in New York.
Of course, the Silicon Valley scene is still many times larger (1,202 companies grabbed $12 billion last year), and is nowhere near being eclipsed. Still, New York’s startup growth is palpable, and it appears to be spurring on yet more growth.
The Palo Alto, California-based venture capital firm Accel Partners made only a few investments in New York between 2008 and 2011, but now it has about 18 there, making it the firm’s second-largest investment area behind Silicon Valley. It opened its first New York office — only its second in the U.S.– last year after noticing a rise in the quality of local entrepreneurship and more diversity in the types of companies, such as in social media, e-commerce and mobile services, says Sameer Gandhi, a partner at Accel.
Like Crowley, Zach Sims decided to set up shop in New York when he cofounded Codecademy, a startup that teaches people how to write software code — even though his company’s early days were spent in Silicon Valley as a participant last summer in Y Combinator, a Mountain View, California-based accelerator.
Sims and cofounder Ryan Bubinski had attended Columbia University in Manhattan, building up a network of people they wanted to hire, and their main investor, Union Square Ventures, is based in the city. Sims also thinks working in New York is a good way to be in touch with the kinds of people who would use Codecademy, since the startup’s offerings are geared toward people who aren’t entrenched in the tech scene — and those people are easier to find in New York than in Silicon Valley.
Indeed, in New York, tech is just one of several big industries, including finance and media, which gives startup founders a variety of resources to draw on. For example, the presence of New York’s fashion industry was enticing to Olga Vidisheva, the founder of Shoptiques, an e-commerce site that offers goods from boutiques. She also knew that Manhattan would be a good place to find employees with operations, sales, and editorial expertise.
Plus, she says, there’s New York’s always-on atmosphere: She’d worked previously in Silicon Valley and “felt like a weird person” leaving the office at 2 or 3 a.m. — but New York is always buzzing. “You can get food here any time of night,” she says. “You can get anything.”
New York City‘s Staten Island may soon be home to the world’s tallest ferris wheel.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation is in talks with a company to build a “giant observation wheel” that would be bigger than the London Eye and current “world’s tallest” titleholder, the Singapore Flyer, reports local website SILive.com. At more than 600 feet, the wheel would be on a parcel of land near the island’s ferry terminal.
It would be part of plans for 14 acres of city-owned waterfront property, including high-end outlet stores, the site said.
The London Eye, a popular attraction in England’s most populous city, sits at 443 feet, while the Singapore Flyer towers at 541 feet.
For more on Staten Island’s proposed ferris wheel, watch the video above.
New York City is filled with commuters, so on any given day you’re bound to find discarded MetroCards, the people’s ticket to public transportation, in the subway and even in the city streets. Most pedestrians wouldn’t think twice about these yellow and blue cards that litter the urban setting, but New York-based artist Nina Boesch not only notices them, but she utilizes their limited color palette for her own impressive artworks that pay homage to the Big Apple.
Boesch’s MetroCard Collages series makes use of countless expired and used MetroCards by cutting, composing, and upcycling them into remarkable mosaics of landmarks and iconic figures that are central to the city that never sleeps. From the Statue of Liberty and the taxicabs that fill and personalize the city’s landscape to iconic staples like Woody Allen and Robert De Niro, each of the designer’s collages tackle subjects that define New York.
There’s certainly something to be said about her ability to interestingly define the culturally rich city with such stylized precision. It is no simple task to work only with the colors found on the MetroCard—yellow, orange, and blue on the face of the card; black and white on the back. She even manages to execute a sense of perspective and brilliantly recreate typography like the heading of The New York Times.
Boesch’s creations range from compact 5″ x 7″ works to large-scale portraits that reach a size of 40″ x 30″. She is continually adding to her collection and is currently open to suggestions for commissioned work.
This townhouse in New York is very stylish and has one of the main faces of New York, John Lennon. The style is somewhat traditional, industrial and with art deco elements. Wood, rough brick walls give the impression of something industrial but that is immediately softened by the big soft carpets. The most exciting is art works like sheep statues, art works or a giant John Lennon portrait. The most unusual room is bedroom: it has brick walls, brilliant art works and minimalist furniture. The second bedroom is also unique thanks to rough brick walls, traditional fireplace and carpets, a study corner reminding of the beginning of the previous century. An Asian mask and Russian samovars in the bathroom just blow your mind!