It will soon be much easier to find the Microsoft Surface RT -- Staples stores are going to start offering it soon, possibly as early as tomorrow.
Previously, this Windows RT tablet could only be purchased directly from Microsoft's own retail stores or its website. The company has now changed this policy, and says it will be making the device more broadly available.
"Our plan has been to expand the retail presence for Surface after the first of the year. Based on interest from retailers, we are giving them the option to carry Surface with Windows RT even earlier," said Steve Schueler, corporate vice president, Microsoft Retail Sales and Marketing.
Staples announced this afternoon that it's going to be carrying it. The tablet will be at all Staples locations and Staples.com as early as December 12.
Broader Availability Means More Sales?
So far, sales of the Surface have been somewhat anemic, although it is reportedly the best-selling device running Windows 8 or RT. Analysts have said the reason for slower-than-expected sales is limited availability, not bad design. Microsoft has clearly taken this advice to heart, and will make the Surface RT much more broadly available.
But this raises a question: how will Microsoft's licensees like Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Asus who are offering their own tablets react to stronger competion for Microsoft?
Expanding Microsoft Stores
Microsoft opened a number of retail stores across the U.S. for the holiday shopping season. The star of these locations is the Surface.
The company announced today that it is going to keep most of these open permanently. The plan is to transition the stores into either permanent brick-and-mortar retail outlets or specialty store locations.
Be sure to read our review of the Microsoft Surface RT.
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