Microsoft's first flagship store features print on-demand-video games.

Coinciding with the release Windows 7, Microsoft opened the first of its flagship stores, designed to exist in a similar realm as Apple’s retail outfits. Despite a few standard offerings, namely an “answers bar,” one surprising feature is the ability to print video games on demand.  Customers only have to request a title, then the inserts, case, and game are printed within four minutes.  While this isn’t the first instance of any form of print on demand (the espresso book machine is a bit older), it’s certainly a more mainstream example in retail.  For customers and geeks like us this is promising for the implications of near limitless stock and selection.  In addition, printing on demand is a green move, as it cuts down on shipping, required floor space, resources, and in turn a company’s bottom line.

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