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MarketWatch reports on the AWS Pop-up Loft, a store created by Amazon in downtown San Francisco, that "is filled with comfy couches, funky lamps, computers and tons of food, ranging from fresh cupcakes to beer on tap" - all of it free.

The goal of the store is "to promote Amazon Web Services (AWS), a collection of remote computing services that make up Amazon.com’s cloud computing platform, which includes virtual servers and Web Service based storage. Modeled after a typical San Francisco startup, the space screams 'hipster-chill,' complete with a record player and foosball table for anyone from the public to use ... If you’re there to actually get work done, there are those Quirky Pivot Power outlets, quiet work lounges and a big bar in the center of the room where AWS employees can answer questions, reminiscent of Apple’s Genius Bar."

The store does not actually sell anything. Even to purchase AWS services, you have to go online. “The AWS Pop-up Loft is open to any current or potential AWS customers who are interested in learning more about AWS,” says Ariel Kelman, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at AWS. “We certainly see a lot of startups visiting the Loft to deepen their technical knowledge about our services, but we’ve also had enterprises come to the Loft to attend sessions and meet with our solutions architects for expert technical advice.”
KC's View:
It is all about ecosystem. Whether shoppers realize it or not.