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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zuYxRtdomI&w=640&h=480]

Microsoft today has opened a new retail location outside of its Washington stronghold.

This store, which is beautiful and entertaining by any standards, is nestled deep in Silicon Valley — a cultural milieu that loves to hate on Microsoft.

If you have any doubts about the store’s target demographic, look no further than its location: directly across from the Apple Store in an upscale shopping mall. Microsoft has worked hard to achieve better design, better experiences and more consumer-friendly fun with business-friendly computing power than ever before, and it’s never been in a better position to take on Apple in the battlefield of retail.

Yesterday, we went down to Santa Clara to check out the company’s newest digs — and to interview Microsoft marketing manager for retail stores Mika Yamamoto about where we can expect to see Microsoft stores in the near future (hint: just about everywhere within the next couple of years).

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, the new Microsoft store is near the Nordstrom anchor store in the Westfield Valley Fair shopping mall in Santa Clara.

Music courtesy of Incompetech.

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