Word on the street is that Verizon stores will begin to start selling the Microsoft Surface RT (review) direct to customers. In the image submitted to our forums by jrj2013, you can clearly see that at least one Verizon store has the Surface on open display. From his own account of the experience...

“I went into my local Verizon Wireless this morning and was surprised to see a demo Surface on display. The manager said Microsoft had been keeping it quiet and that they would be selling it soon. He also told me that doesn't think they'll be selling a 4G version, only the standard WiFi.”

We agree that Verizon won’t have a 4G version of the device despite selling it in their stores due to potential signal issues and perhaps to keep the price down. (Microsoft also previously cited studies showing that most people don’t use 4G enabled tablets). It is a bit odd though for Verizon to sell a device for which they cannot sell any services for—after all, that is their business as they are not Best Buy.

But perhaps Microsoft and Verizon have struck a new deal with Microsoft giving the carrier a cut of the sales. Though selling the Surface and making money is Microsoft’s goal, we think it’s also about pushing Windows 8 and the ecosystem meaning they can lose some money here and there in exchange for a higher presence. This will also help make up for the fact that you can’t walk into a Target and buy the Surface but instead have to rely on kiosks or the rare Microsoft Store.

We’ll see if Verizon actually starts to sell these but if they do, we think that’s a good move to increase visibility of the device. Thanks, jrj2013, for the image