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Bay Area kitsch-collectors were scrambling to their VW Beetles this week, as word spread that Microsoft's showcase store in San Francisco's Sony Metreon complex is to close.

"MicrosoftSF" is Redmond's one and only such store, and has been a displaying The Beast's software, hardware and assorted merchandise since June 1999. But the highlight, for us anyway, has been the availability of the Zen-inspired Microsoft motivational die: roll it, and you have a one in six chance of coming up with 'Integrity'. The item is sadly discontinued, alas.

When we dropped by today the MicrosoftSF name on the Metreon's directory was being taped over. The store itself was closed for "refurbishment", but an employee told us that from Thursday it will carry on under in the same vein, "only with a lot less Microsoft stuff".

The San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Lazarus broke the news here, and if you've never visited MicrosoftSF, there's a lovely piece by Salon's Janelle Brown on the store's opening here. ®

Bootnote: Integrity is woven in to the Microsoft corporate mission statement, as this demonstrates: "Integrity: Our managers and employees must always act with the utmost integrity, and be guided by what is ethical and right for our customers. We compete vigorously and fairly."

For The Register's own Integrity-branded merchandise, click here

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