While errands in the mall, I swung through the relatively recent Microsoft Store. And, as you have seen in the pic above, they’ve done a good job duplicating Apple’s iconic store design… with the addition dark woodgrain surfaces (bad) and rich projection displays (good). Not to mention red store employee t-shirts replace Apple’s blue.

Talking about those store employees, two confirmed reports that they’re accepting $25 deposits on the flagship Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone (on AT&T). However, while i tweeted, it’s pretty absurd to pre-order a tool which includes no announced launch date or pricing. So, needless to say, I pushed employees for details. They stated rather factually that I could request white or black Lumia 900 hardware that they be prepared to release in the other half of March, after the 15th. Unfortunately, they weren’t so certain on pricing. One employee figured the Nokia handset would run about $200, even though the other contacted the manager who wasn’t given concrete details but inferred it’d be made available between $150 - $199.

The timing lines up well with all the rumored March 18th launch date, but I’m somewhat bummed they couldn’t (yet?) corroborate a $100 cost to undercut your competitors. Until we realize more, the Samsung Focus Flash remains my personal favorite Windows Phone. But only time will tell whether it sees WP8 software and/or Skype video chat. Which you can virtually guarantee will find its approach to the Lumia 900.