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.)

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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