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Thousands wait in line for Microsoft opening

By Amy Busek

LAST UPDATED: 1:54 p.m. HST, Jun 13, 2013

About 2,000 people waited next to the second-floor Shirokiya entrance to get into the new Microsoft store at Ala Moana Center, many of them queuing up before 10 p.m. Wednesday. The crowd of mostly young people and parents chattered excitedly while holding coolers, pillows and stuffed animals.

At 10 p.m., Microsoft team members and security slowly corralled fans into a fenced-off area in the nearby parking lot.

Hawaii’s first Microsoft store opens this morning at 11:00 a.m. at Ala Moana Center and the first 2,500 people in line will get free tickets to tonight's concert at Kakaako Waterfront park.

The first 200 people were given wristbands that allow them to meet Neon Trees tomorrow, the second act following Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Nelson Ganeku of Ewa Beach had been waiting in line with his son since 9 p.m. Wednesday. Ganeku said he's giving his ticket to his 12-year-old daughter.

"We're hanging in there, it's a little rough, a little hot," Ganeku said.

Marc Samonte and Chaneal Rodriguez, 19, were the first two people to receive wristbands, thanks to a tip-off from a Microsoft worker who liked Samonte's colorful t-shirt.

"He was like 'There's a barricade here, and (the line) will be on the other side of the barricade.' So we actually got our chairs and sat over there until the security guard kicked us out," Samonte said.

Samonte and Rodriguez said they are "ecstatic" to meet Neon Trees today.

Those with wristbands will be routinely checked by attendants, to ensure that they do not leave the premises, according to crowd control worker Cecil Aparis.

Jenn Branstetter, a Microsoft social media team member, believes that Microsoft is also a huge selling point for the crowds.

"People are really excited about the new Microsoft store opening up here. We were posting on Facebook, inviting people to a Facebook event (and) we posted on Twitter and word just spread," Branstetter said.

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