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 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).

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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