Apple isn’t the only store in the Town Center Mall selling laptops and other tech products. Microsoft opened its doors last month with a grand opening that drew throngs of people waiting to catch a glimpse of the new holiday products.
Before the unveiling of the nearly 1,500-square-foot store, Microsoft’s eighth Florida location, music blared, people lined up and Microsoft officials awarded four local nonprofits nearly $1 million in technology grants.
The Boca Raton Museum of Art received $125,000, The Museum of Discovery and Science $175,000, Florence Fuller Child Development Centers $250,000 and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Palm Beach County $350,000.
It’s the relationships with the community that led Microsoft to want to open a store in Boca, said Kelly Soligon, general manager, Microsoft Retail and Online Stores worldwide.
Soligon said Florida has been a great market for Microsoft and the company has had a small speciality store in Town Center before. She said when the opportunity came to have a bigger space in the mall, Microsoft took it.
She said a core part of Microsoft’s mission is to make community connections and become a resource, especially for the youth.
In addition to selling products, she said Microsoft will offer free classes for students like entry-level coding to advanced video game building.
Mayor Susan Haynie, Councilmen Scott Singer and Robert Weinroth and Palm Beach County Commissioner Steve Abrams welcomed Microsoft to Boca.
“I can’t think of a better way for Microsoft to honor the city of Boca Raton than by honoring our nonprofits,” she told the crowd waiting to get in.“We are so happy to have Microsoft in the city of Boca Raton. We hope they grow as other stores in our mall have.”
As the doors opened, employees dressed in bright colored T-shirts cheered, danced and welcomed shoppers.
The first 500 customers received a gift card ranging from $10 to $1,000. The first 200 customers received a ticket to come back and meet Dan Marino.