Skip to main content
October 23, 2012

Dear New York, We Invite You to Microtropolis. #Microtropolis

When I think of Manhattan, I think of the neighborhoods, the culture, the iconic skyline and the vibrant lifestyle of the people living in this city on an island, jutting into the Hudson. People from around the world come to New York City for the restaurants, the museums, the shopping, the theatre, and the hidden local gems that make this city one of the greatest cultural meccas in the world. The city is constantly evolving – being reimagined, recreated. This amazing backdrop is the home of one of the Windows 8 global launch activities, and given its character, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do something special here in NYC.

Inspired by Manhattan, we have created a stylized one hundred and sixty foot version of NYC in an art installation we are calling Microtropolis. Microtropolis is Manhattan experienced through Windows. It creates the ultimate hands-on demonstration of Windows 8, with the city of NYC as the backdrop. As you walk into the installation, you are literally walking through the avenues and streets with skyscrapers towering above. This interactive experience has hundreds of devices placed on rooftops within the city, customized to the neighborhoods in which they are placed. 


Twenty five neighborhoods will light up with the content that reflects the people, places, and culture that make them famous. Windows 8 is personal to the user, but here, it’s personalized by neighborhood. Notable New Yorkers helped us curate Start Screens with the apps and websites they felt best experienced and explore the neighborhoods they call home. To see their curated Start Screens on the various devices is akin to getting an insider’s tour of the city. A number of personalities and institutions famed for their contributions to New York will serve as these curators for Microtropolis, including The Whitney Museum of American Art, Keren Craig of Marchesa, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, the cast of Annie the Musical on Broadway and many more.

If you are in New York, we’d like to invite you to attend and experience Windows 8, Surface and a range of great OEM devices for yourself. The exhibit will be open at various times to the public from 10/26-11/03 and will host specific curated talks and events. Below is a calendar of events and you can always get more details by tweeting @Microtropolis, checking out the website or following the hashtag #microtropolis.

If you are not in the city, you can still join in on the experience. Within the Central Park neighborhood of the installation, twitter conversation comes life to as falling leaves characteristic of autumn in New York. People from around the world can be part of the experience by sending in live tweets to the space using the hashtag #microtropolis. Tweets will not be in real time but will be part of the experience throughout the extent of the installation.


Open hours of Microtropolis

Stop in to experience the city with no RSVP or invite needed:

Oct 27: 12pm-6pm*

Nov 1–3:  10am-6pm*

*The shop to purchase Surface will be open until 10pm.

Surface shop at Microtropolis:

Be one of the first to explore and purchase Surface by visiting our store.

Oct 25: midnight-1am

Oct 26-27: 10am-10pm

Nov 1-3: 10am-10pm

XBOX Video goes to the movies at Microtropolis

Catch a few minutes of a favorite New York movie or settle in with some popcorn for the full feature. Xbox Video adds to the vibe of Microtropolis with famous NYC flicks projected onto the walls surrounding the city. Screening Manhattan, Muppets Take Manhattan, King Kong (1933) and Ghostbusters. No RSVP or invitation needed.

Oct 27: 10am-6pm

Take a tour in Microtropolis

Real NYC Tours take visitors on hourly tours around the stylized city, giving real information about New York as they guide people from neighborhood to neighborhood. No RSVP or invite needed.

Nov 1: 10am-6pm

Nov 2: 10am-2pm

Nov 3: 10am-6pm

Vimeo watches videos in Microtropolis

A day of short films and interviews with some of Vimeo’s most exciting New York directors. The best, most artistic and creative films of the city, presented by Vimeo. RSVP recommended via the Windows Facebook page on or after 10/25, but not required.

Nov 2: 2:30pm-6:30pm

PRIVATE AND RSVP EVENTS: To RSVP please visit the Windows Facebook page on or after 10/25.

Opening night at Microtropolis

The city is brought to life. Guests of this VIP event get to be among the first to explore and have a chance to purchase Surface. The kickoff evening also sets the tone of the next few days. The opening features the music of Four Tet, Mister Saturday Night, and Anthony Naples. Private event. Invite and RSVP required.

Oct 25: 8pm-midnight

Design talks at Microtropolis

Microsoft invites college students, professors and product design professionals to meet and hear from members of the Windows 8 design team, including Surface.

It’s a one of a kind learning opportunity from some of the most influential people in the field. RSVP required.

Oct 26: 2pm-6pm

Filter Magazine throws a block party in Microtropolis

A celebration of music inspired by the neighborhoods of New York. FILTER Magazine hosts a block party on the streets of Microtropolis. Interpreting the neighborhoods through the evening’s live performance and DJ sets. Featuring New York musicians: Albert Hammond Jr. (of The Strokes), Sinkane, and Caveman. Invite and RSVP required.

Oct 26: 8pm-midnight

Film Society of Lincoln Center watches films in Microtropolis

Fresh off their successful film festival, the society takes a moment to go to the movies. A special screening of On the Town and Westside Story. Invite and RSVP required.

Oct 27: 8pm-11pm

The kids take a field trip to Microtropolis

Microsoft, in keeping with a long tradition of supporting education worldwide, provides a playful, enriching educational experience. Hiring professional guides from Real New York Tours to take students on an innovative learning experience: where art meets technology meets history. Invite and RSVP required.

Nov 1-2: 9:30am-2pm

Gawker tells stories from Microtropolis

New York-based writers tell their “True Neighborhood Story” (a take on Gawker’s popular weekly series “True Stories”). The authors stand in neighborhoods that represent the stories they tell. Invite and RSVP required.

Nov 1: 8pm-11pm

Vimeo gets caught on video in Microtropolis

The creative video site celebrates the launch of Vimeo’s new Windows 8 app with a night of music, visuals and obviously, videos. Invite and RSVP required.

Nov 1: 8pm-midnight

Milkmania, live from Microtropolis

We bid farewell to Microtropolis with a final event celebrating New York culture, Halloween, and most importantly, Windows 8. Milk Studios & LEGS team take us out on the town with a New York-themed gathering that culminates in a surprise performance. Invite and RSVP required.

Nov 3: 8pm-midnight