Print 31 comment(s) - last by herrdoktor330.. on Dec 16 at 11:22 AM

Microsoft didn't announce any specific retailers that will carry the device, but Staples said it will stock the Surface with Windows RT starting today

It turns out that you can't sell a product that doesn't have broad availability (who would've thought?), so Microsoft is putting the Surface with Windows RT on the shelves of third-party retailers this week.

Up until this point, Surface with Windows RT was only available in Windows Stores and kiosks. The problem with that is the number of Windows Stores and kiosks available -- a total of 65 in the U.S.

This posed a problem for Microsoft, as potential buyers may have to go out of their way to find a Surface RT rather than visit the local Best Buy, for example.

Microsoft is now looking to fix that issue and try to meet customer demand with wider availability of its first own-brand computer.

"The public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see," said Panos Panay, general manager of Microsoft's Surface project. "We've increased production and are expanding the ways in which customers can interact with, experience and purchase Surface."

Microsoft didn't announce any specific retailers that will carry the device, but Staples said it will stock the Surface with Windows RT starting today.

Surface with Windows RT will also make its way to Australia in mid-December as well as other countries in the following months.

Just last week, Boston-based brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton told Reuters that lack of distribution was killing sales and demand for the Surface RT. Detwiler Fenton even estimated that Microsoft will only sell 500,000 to 600,000 Surface RTs in the December quarter. This was a strong hit to previous estimates of 1 million to 2 million.

Surface with Windows RT isn't the only Windows 8-based gadget that isn't hitting store shelves. The Seattle Times echoed Detwiler Fenton's concerns: there just aren't very many Windows 8 tablets out yet, and those that are are impossible to find. However, other Windows 8 tablets are sold in major retailers like Best Buy; not just Microsoft Stores.

Surface with Windows RT was released October 26 alongside the new Windows 8 operating system. It features the Windows RT version of Windows 8, which is specifically for ARM processors, and starts at $499. Surface with Windows 8 Pro, which features the full version of Windows 8, will be released in January starting at $899.

Source: Reuters

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By Pirks on 12/12/2012 2:43:27 PM , Rating: 4
A buddy of mine tried to buy it first in Staples but it was sold out in two days, he was too late :) Then he went into a few more Staples but no luck, total sell out everywhere. Then one week later MS store started to sell them all of a sudden, he got one with keyboard dock and now he doesn't understand what idiot could buy iPad for the same price. The iPad-like tablet with improved multitouch, gestures, two pane multitasking, FULL x86 Office 2013 Professional (!!!), and TWO DAYS on battery without recharging! With light usage but anyway... his reaction was "what?? give me two!!!" :)))

He runs Excel on it most of the day in his office and he comes back home, unplugs keyboard dock and uses it as a touch tablet to play some games with his sons, browse the web and watch some internet TV or something.

Bye bye iPad, we hardly knew ya :P

By superPC on 12/12/2012 5:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
I guess today really is the end of days. Pirks has positive comment on a MS tablet. The end is heeerrree!!

By Calin on 12/13/2012 2:22:40 AM , Rating: 2
Atom is not quite powerful enough to run full blown Windows and x86 applications (it is faster than the ARM competition, but not fast enough). And if Microsoft would have sold a cheap x86 competitor in a cheap tablet, they would cannibalize their more expensive (but much more powerful) tablet based on ultra low power Ivy Bridge.
Also, they promised the Windows for ARM to their partners long time ago, and the operating system was ready, so they made a device.

By Wererat on 12/13/2012 1:48:27 PM , Rating: 3
You're welcome to your opinion, Win8 tablet people have choices because different companies make tablets, and we all win. That (competition) itself is something the iOS fans really don't grasp!

(I'm personally a bit sceptical about ARM-based ... I'll have to get my desktop Win8 up, fire up Visual Studio, and make a sample app to see if I think it's a big loss vs. full x86 compatibility in the tablet space.)

Microsoft = Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh
By Belard on 12/13/2012 12:24:17 AM , Rating: 1
There are only about 25 or so MS stores in the entire USA... last I check (last month) none in Dallas Texas.

So.... duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh...

Of course it makes it difficult to sell... what people can't get.

RE: Microsoft = Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2012 1:42:23 AM , Rating: 3
The ones that are open are dead. There are three in Southern California that I've been to, all in prime shopping areas, and they've all been empty. This is on weekends btw, at the same time when Apple stores are shoulder to shoulder with customers. Even the Sony stores, dead as they are in comparison, seem to have more visitors.

Opening up Surface sales to other retailers will so more to address the problem than opening more Microsoft stores.

By herrdoktor330 on 12/16/2012 11:22:36 AM , Rating: 2
Opening up Surface sales to other retailers will so more to address the problem than opening more Microsoft stores.

Yeah, about the idea of "Microsoft Stores": Isn't the "Microsoft Store" technically Newegg, TigerDirect, and any other place that sells computers online or B&M? Seems like a major waste of cash to set up stores that are competing with your already established chain of distribution. I guess I'm only speaking from personal habit, but when I think "I want to buy/build a new PC" I'm not thinking about going to a Microsoft store to do that. I'm going to the Egg, Amazon, Microcenter. Hell, even if I wanted an Apple product I don't know I'd have a desire to go to an Apple product. The only conceivable reason I can think Apple would double down on B&M stores is to provide a certified place to offer support for their products. PCs have no lack of mom and pop technicians capable of servicing equipment. So why the hell would Microsoft want to go down the "MS Store" road in the first place? Does the profits made from selling your own products from those stores outweigh the cost of property tax, upkeep, employee wages/benefits, insurance, etc?

Guess what I'm saying is just because Apple does it, doesn't mean it's a great idea (much like the finder bar).

RE: Microsoft = Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh
By chmilz on 12/13/2012 10:49:10 AM , Rating: 3
I had to stop in at a Best Buy yesterday for the first time in about a year (shudder). While in there, I took a quick swing over to the WinRT tablets, played with the VivoTab for a few minutes, and was soundly convinced that WinRT (as an OS) beat the living snot out of my Android OS tablet.

The sales guy told me the "wow!" factor was really high, and anyone who has a current tablet that tries the WinRT models loves them, while those who are new to the tablet space are buying up iPads because they don't know what the competition is.

Point being, WinRT tablets are entering a maturing, competitive market. It's a good product, but people need to be able to see the difference themselves or that lightbulb won't go off, and MS won't get tablet sales.

Tech support
By Schadenfroh on 12/12/2012 8:22:05 PM , Rating: 4
Tech support is going to love it when all those consumers call in after buying the cheaper RT device, getting home and discovering they cannot install their Windows x86 programs even after they connect an external DVD player...

I still get calls from friends of family members asking me why they cannot install their old Windows software on their new Mac.

RE: Tech support
By hich08 on 12/13/2012 4:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
LOL ;-)

I'll wait
By hich08 on 12/13/2012 4:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'll wait until next year to see if Surface is a good choice or not. I'm not a guy who needs thousands of apps and I don't like the control Apple has on its products. But if it turned out that the ipad is better than surface, so I'll have no choice but to buy an ipad.

I think it a good move from MS if they want their tablet to be seen.

Shortening the queues
By Tony Swash on 12/12/12, Rating: -1
RE: Shortening the queues
By kyuuketsuki on 12/12/2012 2:22:09 PM , Rating: 3
I have to suspect that Swash is actually a bot program, because any actual human being would have to have gotten tired of posting this constant stream of APPLE RULEZ, EVERYONE ELSE DROOLZ drivel in every damn article by now.

RE: Shortening the queues
By Pirks on 12/12/12, Rating: 0
RE: Shortening the queues
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/12/2012 3:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
Ignore him as he's a clueless pro-Apple troll in this case
And you were just as much an Apple troll when I first started coming here..


You are a pathetic loser...

RE: Shortening the queues
By Pirks on 12/12/2012 3:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between a troll pwner and a troll, your tiny rat brain won't comprehend it though

RE: Shortening the queues
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/12/2012 4:04:24 PM , Rating: 1
You certainly are no "pwner", you are an idiot. Also, the use of the word "pwn", shows how intellectually challenged you really are. You can't even speak like an adult you think you are.

Again, loser.

RE: Shortening the queues
By Pirks on 12/12/2012 4:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
well if you can't comprehend some simple things you are at least trying to entertain me, so thank you ;)

RE: Shortening the queues
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/12/2012 4:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
God, you really are an idiot. It's official.

RE: Shortening the queues
By Pirks on 12/12/2012 5:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
running out of steam quick cheesy? you were more funny before. what happened?

RE: Shortening the queues
By Tony Swash on 12/12/2012 7:43:30 PM , Rating: 1
Meanwhile the tumbleweed rolls serenely along the quiet peaceful and empty aisles in the Microsoft store. Must be a good place for a nice nap.

RE: Shortening the queues
By Pirks on 12/12/2012 9:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
Hey! Don't you forget empty aisles in Best Buy, Staples and all the other stores that will be selling Surface soon! In your little bubble only the Apple stores have people inside, all the other stores are of course empty. Right Tony? :P hehehe

RE: Shortening the queues
By Tony Swash on 12/13/2012 7:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
OK me old china (cockney rhyming slang - look it up), In your opinion broadly how many Surface tablets are you expecting Microsoft to sell this coming year?

RE: Shortening the queues
By Pirks on 12/13/2012 3:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
Enough not to scare off their OEMs

RE: Shortening the queues
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/12/2012 3:37:06 PM , Rating: 2
He's most likely paid to do it...

RE: Shortening the queues
By aGreenAgent on 12/12/2012 3:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
Although interestingly, around here the Microsoft store always has more people than the Apple store.

RE: Shortening the queues
By drycrust3 on 12/12/2012 4:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
In New Zealand, where I live, we have Microsoft advertising "Windows 8" on TV, showing it running on the Surface, but only one of the electronic retailers that I frequent (using their websites as a guide) actually stocks the Surface (two models, only one actually stocked, and not at all stores), and that isn't a nationwide distributor either. None of the "nationwide" electronics retailers that I looked at actually stock the Surface.
By comparison, that retailer that does carry the Surface lists 27 different Apple products, 25 in stock, all of which are cheaper than the Surface.

RE: Shortening the queues
By Pirks on 12/12/2012 9:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
all of which are cheaper than the Surface
of course they should be cheaper! they have inferior touch interface, screen that's inferior when watching widescreen movies, inferior case without pop out kickstand, inferior keyboards (only touch with no ability to attach magnetic touch cover or type cover) and they don't have Office 2013 included, plus their OS is not running on billions of PCs everywhere so its appeal to developers is limited compared to Windows install base. overall, considering all these apple device shortcomings, I think it should be pretty obvious why apple tablets are cheaper.

RE: Shortening the queues
By drycrust3 on 12/13/2012 12:23:10 AM , Rating: 2
plus their OS is not running on billions of PCs everywhere so its appeal to developers is limited compared to Windows install base. overall,

As I understand it, the Windows 8 RT running on the Surface is almost completely incompatible with the regular Windows OS running on PCs.

RE: Shortening the queues
By Pirks on 12/13/2012 3:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
If Windows RT were the only version offered on Win8 tablets, you would be right

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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