Microsoft to sell Surface tablets through retail chains in US and Australia [Update]
Microsoft has announced today plans to make its Surface RT tablet available at retail stores as soon as mid-December, to take full advantage of the holiday season. In addition to the extension of sources where Surface tablets will be available for consumers to purchase, Microsoft will also turn several of the temporary stores that were opened for the Surface launch into permanent retail outlets.
Panos Panay, General Manager of Microsoft Surface had the following to comment on the announcement:
Starting from mid-December, consumers will be able to purchase a Surface tablet loaded with Windows RT from retail stores in the US and Australia, with more countries being added in the coming months. This shows strong signs of progress for the company, attempting to push the product into as many hands as possible. Steve Schueler, corporate vice president, Microsoft Retail Sales and Marketing, continues:
The hardware is currently available at Microsoft retail stores in the US and Canada, as well as online in Australia, China, France, Germany, and the UK (as well as the US and Canada). The company isn't looking to slow down with just the expansion of its stores and locations where is latest hardware is available as Microsoft has also been in talks with landlords to bring stores to Europe.
The Surface tablets have been restricted to a handful of markets, so it's positive to see Microsoft taking measures to increase productivity as well as availability worldwide.
Update: According to a report over at Yahoo!, Staples is one of the named retail chains that will be selling Surface tablets. The product will be available in stores and online as early as December 12th. Those who purchase a Surface RT tablet from Staples will receive free personalised training, free support and free startup for their new tablet. If you opt for the $699 model you'll be eligible for a free data transfer from an old PC.
Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
Sheesh, It's sold exclusively on-line and only a few hundred stores. You can't physically move millions of units that way.
A retail outlets move is awesome. Everytime I open my Surface in public people FLOCK to it.
The thing is is that DFW is one of the largest metropolitan areas in this country, and the only place Microsoft could think to put a pop up store is in Frisco? Ridiculous.
Besides, time is currency for many people.
Would have been nice to have them in retail for the holiday season but this is better than nothing and in theory should boost development of RT apps.
(Had to use a tinyurl link because apparently WPCentral flags best buy with no space between each word as spam. The link http://www.best buy.com/site/Computing-Promotions/Surface-with-Windows-RT/pcmcat290500050018.c?id=pcmcat290500050018 just remove the space between best and buy in the address.)
Did Best Buy want too big a cut or something? Surface should be at Best Buy, instead of or in addition to Staples.