This was no ordinary store opening at The Village in Corte Madera on Saturday. Microsoft invited a few hundred people, caterers, DJs, singer Kelly Clarkson and NFL great Jerry Rice to make it a more memorable event.
The curtain dropped on the Microsoft Store at 11 a.m. Saturday to cheering, dancing fans and employees.
"I wanted to see a Microsoft Store and I found this one was having its grand opening," said Ton Saeliw of Fairfield. "I want to try their new phone. … If they'll sell the phone today, I'll buy it."
Inside the store, Microsoft employees demonstrated the latest products, including the big hit among shoppers, even those on the edge: the new Surface tablet.
"It's like an iPad, but with an integrated keyboard," said Dung, who came from Vallejo with her family for the opening. "I really like the keyboard."
Saeliw and his friends were just a few of the people who crowded into the The Village on Saturday. Not everyone was attracted by the keyboards and phones.
Some people started lining up Friday night to see Clarkson, who was scheduled to perform at 6 p.m. Saturday. Workers were busy setting up her stage in the gravel parking lot across the street from The Village.
Mandy Jones traveled two hours and started standing in line at 6 p.m. Friday to see Clarkson.
"I slept on concrete, I waited overnight for this," Jones said. "I'm a big Clarkson fan."
Former 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice is scheduled to make an appearance at the store on Sunday.
The Village saw similar excitement just a few weeks ago when Apple introduced its new iPhone5. Eager fans waited in line overnight outside the Apple Store at The Village to be among the first in the area to own the iPhone5.
Microsoft announced 12 weeks ago it was opening its third Bay Area store in Corte Madera. Microsoft punctuated its opening with software donations to the Children's Discovery Center, Girls Inc. and Junior Achievement of Northern California.
Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey and Corte Madera Town Council members Diane Furst and Carla Condon were on hand to welcome the new retailer to town. All three said they were excited by Microsoft's arrival in the community.
"Retail drives our economy, so it's exciting to me … to see a new store opening in this beautiful shopping complex," Kinsey told the crowd. "Successful businesses strengthen our community."