The Microsoft Surface tablet is currently only available directly from Microsoft, but that is reportedly going to change soon.
Sales of the Windows RT-based device aren’t very strong, but some analysts chalk this up to its limited availability, not because it’s a bad product. Microsoft is supposedly going to broaden the availability quite a bit, opening it up to sales in chain electronics stores.
A Two-Phase Solution
In the next few weeks, the Surface RT will allegedly appear in major retailers… but only outside of the U.S. or Canada. The company apparently feels it has these two countries covered with its own retail stores, including holiday pop-ups.
In January, however, the current version of Microsoft’s tablet and the upcoming Windows 8 version, will reportedly hit the shelves of big retailers. This will include Best Buy and Staples.
With broader availability, more shoppers will be able to learn about the device, and try it out before they buy. This will likely spur sales.
Trouble’s a’ Brewin’
Although this has never been publicly expressed, it was thought that Microsoft’s strategy of only offering the Surface in its retail stores and online was to placate Windows licensees by hobbling Microsoft’s own tablet.
So the big question is, how Microsoft’s licensees like Lenovo, Dell, and Asus who are offering their own tablets will react to broader availability.
Be sure to read our review of the Microsoft Surface RT.