Microsoft Takes on Apple With New Store and Surface Book

by Keith Wagstaff /  / Updated 

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Microsoft is starting to look a little more like Apple. On Monday, the company opened a shiny flagship store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue while also kicking off sales of its new Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet.

In the past decade, Microsoft lagged behind Apple when it came to exciting gadgets. (The less said about the Zune the better).

But the Surface Book, which went on sale Monday, has created some buzz. It's a powerful laptop with a monitor that detaches to become a tablet. While not cheap ($1,500 for the base model), the Surface Book has garnered a lot of enthusiastic reviews praising Microsoft's forward thinking.

When announcing the Surface Pro 4, which also went on sale Monday, Microsoft made not-so-veiled comments about Apple playing catch up with its iPad Pro, a tablet that also includes a type cover and stylus.

People wait outside the Microsoft flagship store on its opening day.
People wait outside the Microsoft flagship store on its opening day.Matt Nighswander / NBC News

Both products will be on display at company's five-floor flagship store in New York City. It's not the first Microsoft retail store — there are already more than 100 — but it's the biggest at 22,000 feet, and the only one that is taller than one story.

The store is selling Microsoft products, like the Surface Book, Xbox One and Lumia phones, and has a few HoloLens augmented-reality devices on display. For New Yorkers who want to compare Microsoft's new offerings to what Cupertino has to offer, the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue is only a short walk away.

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