This morning I was reading about some of Microsoft’s deals that they were having overseas. At this time of year, they’re always running a few really good specials on the devices that they sell in their physical stores and online, but we’ve never really had the same deals reach us. Out of curiosity after checking out one of the deals announced on Paul Thurrot’s column, I decided to visit our own to see what our situation looks like compared to the one across the ocean – and to my amazement, I discovered that we have a working Microsoft store that is actually useful! I’m not sure when this change was made, but it’s certainly a welcome one. Hit the jump for more.
The store is mainly useful if you’re looking to buy hardware directly from Microsoft, avoiding the local retailers and going straight to the source. Xbox One consoles are available on their own or in bundles, as well as one hybrid notebook, mobile phones, accessories for phones or laptops/tablets, software, and wearables, so there’s a decent selection already. Buying phones straight through them seems like a good deal, because the warranties are extended to two years instead of the usual one. These are the phones on offer currently:
- Microsoft Lumia 535 with flip cover @ R1999
- Microsoft Lumia 640 with Fitbit Flex @ R2999
- Microsoft Lumia 640 XL with Fitbit Flex @ R4100
These prices seem to be decent, and more in line with what stores like Orange charge, just without the freebies. There’s a banner announcing that the Lumia 950 and 950 XL will be sold through this store as well, which might entice you to buy from here instead of getting it on a contract. These phones are not carrier-branded, and will receive updates direct from Microsoft instead. If you’re looking for a Wireless Qi charger, the store stocks the one that used to be sold with the Lumia 920.
As for the Xbox One, while the console on its own is sold out, there are some bundles that don’t look too bad.
- Xbox One 500GB with Forza 6 and Chat headset @ R5499
- Xbox One 500GB with Halo 5 and Chat headset @ R5499
- Xbox One 500GB with The Witcher 3, Xbox Kinect, and Chat headset @ R7499
As far as accessories go, the store also sells things like extra controllers, the Xbox One headset, the charge and play kits, and the Kinect camera on its own (R2199 is extremely expensive though). There are no listings for the Elite controller yet, but that’s going to be expensive anyway. Games are also sold through the store, but there’s little point to buying from here instead of, say, Takealot or Raru, which might end up cheaper. Microsoft says as much in their terms for the store, specifically mentioning that they don’t price-match with other retailers.
Laptop-wise, there’s only the Acer Aspire Switch 10e, but it doesn’t have a price yet. Microsoft typically offers “Signature” editions of their notebooks, tablets, and desktops, where they are delivered with barebones Windows installs and zero bloatware to be seen. I don’t know if they’ll do the same thing here, but it’s not that difficult to do it yourself either.
So that’s it really. Yay. Woo hoo. We have a Microsoft store. I wonder if they’ll start selling Surface tablets and the Surface Book on there?