Microsoft Allows Third-Party Retailers to Sell Surface with Windows RT
December 12, 2012 12:44 PM
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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
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.
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RE: Microsoft = Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh
12/13/2012 10:49:10 AM
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.
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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