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For anyone even mildly following the news out of the Consumer Electronics Show happening now in Vegas, the tension between Microsoft and Apple is palpable. But their rivalry goes beyond products; it extends into their retail spaces, especially now that Microsoft has their own shops that borrow more than a little from the awarded interiors of Apple stores.
In retaliation, Fast Company reports that Apple is preparing to launch a new store concept, more "knowledge center" than retail outlet: "Fully half the function of the store serves to provide education and service to business as well as customer patrons in addition to product sales. The store is a commons for the applicant's community to gather."
Additionally, the new Apple concept store will feature live trees, fed by natural sunlight that streams in from Apple's love affair with glass ceilings and skylights. Although we know the first of these new shops will open in Palo Alto, there's no hints yet as to whether or not New York is next on the list, but judging from how location-happy they are here, we can't be too far back in the queue. Plus, the architecture firm behind the new concept is the same that did the iconic cube on Fifth Avenue: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
This gets us thinking which neighborhood would be best for it...who's down for "A tree grows in Apple Brooklyn?"
· Apple Fires Back at Microsoft, Plans Revamped Store [Fast Company]
· Will Times Square Get a Microsoft Store This Fall? [Racked]