Surface to be sold at major retailers early next year? [Update]

Microsoft is in the process of setting up a bunch of retail holiday pop-up shops to kick-start the sales of the Surface RT tablet. Officially, the company has only stated that the Surface tablet would be sold via its own retail outlets (including its online store) but once the pop-up shops go away, how will Microsoft continue with mass distribution?

Of recent, we have begun to see evidence that other retail outlets, outside of the US, will sell the Surface as well. Affirming these reports, Paul Thurrott is stating that Surface will be sold via third part stores starting early next year. It is unclear if this new information is pertaining to stores inside the US or if it will be for international outlets only.

A couple of things to note about the timing of "early next year" is that the pop-up shops will close shortly after the holiday season. If Microsoft does expand to traditional retail channels, it would make sense for it to occur after their holiday stores close down to maintain easy availability of the Surface tablet. Also, the Surface Pro will go on sale around the same time; the Windows 8 tablet will likely need broad distribution that would not be available seeing as the Microsoft stores are currently limited to only a few dozen markets.

While we wait for Microsoft to give us a clear answer on the distribution channels for the Surface, we will likely hear more very soon as Microsoft prepares to launch Windows 8 and the Surface RT later this month.

Update: We've heard from a tipster familiar with Best Buy's retail plans that the Surface will be available in store starting in January, confirming Paul Thurrott's information.

Source: Paul Thurrott

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They wont sell as many as they think and this will go the way of the blackberry playbook.. the real nail in the coffin is the inability of windows rt to run windows programs... whats the point ? the market doesn't need or have room for another app store only based device... 2 is more than enough... and google does it nearly to perfection

rhianntp said,
They wont sell as many as they think and this will go the way of the blackberry playbook.. the real nail in the coffin is the inability of windows rt to run windows programs... whats the point ?

Did you not get the "there are going to be x86 Windows 8 tablets" memo?

the market doesn't need or have room for another app store only based device... 2 is more than enough... and google does it nearly to perfection

Android isn't a "app store only based" OS, as you put it - you can download Android apps from the internet in apk format.

rhianntp said,
They wont sell as many as they think and this will go the way of the blackberry playbook.. the real nail in the coffin is the inability of windows rt to run windows programs... whats the point ? the market doesn't need or have room for another app store only based device... 2 is more than enough... and google does it nearly to perfection

what a really silly comment.

Drewidian said,
Somehow I think MS is going to sell more than the 10 Million they said they would sell in the first year.

I know i will have one. If can do RDP fine to a system running on my home with my work stuff. RT will do for me. And i know it will be able.

Well then how the &@#% do I buy one living near NO Microsoft stores!? I sure as hell don't want this going through the mail system. God already knows they treat packages like ****.

Dot Matrix said,
Well then how the &@#% do I buy one living near NO Microsoft stores!? I sure as hell don't want this going through the mail system. God already knows they treat packages like ****.

Did you not read? It says it will be sold via major retailers, NOT just Microsoft stores as originally speculated.

j2006 said,

Did you not read? It says it will be sold via major retailers, NOT just Microsoft stores as originally speculated.

But that means I have to wait. Either Microsoft wants a tablet or they don't, and so far, they told consumers that they don't. We know NOTHING of the damn thing, and now they're telling those who aren't near a store to wait. Why keep the consumer WAITING, when I can go buy an iPad now? Why limit distributions?

**** the haters. **** the OEMs. Come out of those damn doors swinging. Knock off the tip toeing bull****.

Dot Matrix said,

**** the haters. **** the OEMs. Come out of those damn doors swinging. Knock off the tip toeing bull****.

What the hell are you saying? It's coming out on Oct 26th at MS Stores as they announced, and most likely the major retails next year (probably along with the release of the new Office. There's lots of complicated implications behind the scenes that you don't know about. So, if you don't want to be patient, go buy your iPad if you're that desperate. It's just a device, dude.

j2006 said,

What the hell are you saying? It's coming out on Oct 26th at MS Stores as they announced, and most likely the major retails next year (probably along with the release of the new Office. There's lots of complicated implications behind the scenes that you don't know about. So, if you don't want to be patient, go buy your iPad if you're that desperate. It's just a device, dude.

I don't live near an MS store, I don't live near a temp MS store, and I sure don't want to order it online. So what does that leave me?

The point is, MS only has a handful of stores. Even the temp ones, why are they shooting themselves in the foot like that? They're alienating so many people that aren't going to travel far for a device. Meanwhile, Apple has a store in nearly every major city. They also distribute through retailers that have at least two stores in every major city. Who do you think is going to sell more devices?

Dot Matrix said,

I don't live near an MS store, I don't live near a temp MS store, and I sure don't want to order it online. So what does that leave me?

The point is, MS only has a handful of stores. Even the temp ones, why are they shooting themselves in the foot like that? They're alienating so many people that aren't going to travel far for a device. Meanwhile, Apple has a store in nearly every major city. They also distribute through retailers that have at least two stores in every major city. Who do you think is going to sell more devices?


There have retailers internationally that will be selling it, and Microsoft has an online store. Just like any other retailer, if you're not willing to travel to that store you order online. They're already doing more than enough with regards to brick and mortar sales than they have in the past, so be thankful if you're not willing to purchase online.

Why don't you want to order online? I had ordered HHD, laptops, Ipad, and nexus through mail and had it shipped international no issues. There are no moving parts so it is secure.

They are not alienating anyone. You have three choices. One order online, Two go to a MS store (far from you), or three..wait. and a final choice...go buy something else.

Dot Matrix said,

I don't live near an MS store, I don't live near a temp MS store, and I sure don't want to order it online. So what does that leave me?

The point is, MS only has a handful of stores. Even the temp ones, why are they shooting themselves in the foot like that? They're alienating so many people that aren't going to travel far for a device. Meanwhile, Apple has a store in nearly every major city. They also distribute through retailers that have at least two stores in every major city. Who do you think is going to sell more devices?

Whoa! If it's coming from Thurrott, it does carry some weight!

I would like to go to Best Buy and try out Surface Pro and other Windows 8 tablets before deciding which one to get. I like Surface, or what I've seen so far, but if there's another tablet with a lightly bigger screen I might go with it, even it cost a little more.

Still, so far it's Surface Pro, based on what's been shown so far with other tablets/hybrids.

scumdogmillionaire said,
Would almost be tempted to wait to see if it hits Amazon so I don't have to pay sales tax... but... I can't wait! I WANT ONE NOW!

Amazon is starting to charge sales tax for certain regions, I know Pennsylvania now has to pay sales tax on amazon, along with a bunch of other regions

Sounds like if the holiday season goes well for Microsoft, then major retailers as well as smaller retailers will be jumping at the opportunity to carry the Surface.