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  (Source: neowin.net)
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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