Microsoft Surface heading to more retail stores… maybe more people will buy it?

The Microsoft Surface RT is the first consumer tablet from software maker Microsoft, and it’s a platform for showing off what the new Windows RT operating system can do. But with a starting price of $499, the tablet isn’t exactly an impulse buy — and reports suggest that Microsoft has seen relatively modest sales so far.

One reason for that could be the limited availability of the tablet — it’s primarily sold through the Microsoft Store, both on the web and in a small number of retail locations around the US. Now Microsoft plans to get Surface tablets into additional stores in the US and Australia.

Microsoft Surface RT

The company says it had always planned to make that move after January 1st, but it looks like the time tablet has been moved up a bit.

Select retail stores in the US and Australia (including Staples) are expected to start carrying the Surface RT in mid-December. Additional countries should be added to the list in the following months.

Meanwhile, you can still get the tablet from the Microsoft Store in the US, Canada, Australia, China, France, Germany, and the UK.

The Surface RT tablet features a 10.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB to 64GB of storage (not all of which is user accessible). It also ships with a version of Microsoft Office, WiFi, Bluetooth, and support for Microsoft’s Touch and Type covers which act as both screen protection, and text input devices. Those covers add over $100 to the price of a Surface RT though.

Early next year the company is expected to offer a Surface Pro tablet for $899 and up, featuring a faster processor, more storage, and the full Windows 8 operating system.

  • strider_mt2k

    Hmmm, maybe it is because they are trying to give us something we either don’t want or don’t need.

    MS, just make things people want. Don’t just try to make them want your things.

  • jm2c

    It will be good if more people get to try it out. $500 is a lot of spend without being able to try it out. The Surface with Windows RT is a really nice tablet. I prefer it over the ipad and xoom that I have.

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    A $250 Chromebook sounds a much better deal for Linux-savvy people.

    It is not a tablet but once you slap Ubuntu on it, the machine will be infinitely more useful than an Android / iOS / WinRT tablet. Full LibreOffice, Thunderbird, you name it.

    The hw is as powerful as the SurfaceRT and you get a quality keyboard + 11.6 inch screen for $250.

    And the funny thing is, that with Ubuntu & Samba4, you get a Active Directory / SMB2 capable device (which WinRT is not).

  • buzz86us

    How am I supposed to do more with only 4 hours of battery life… hoping these units go firesale like the touchpad and people figure out how to make this device more useful like a more resource efficient OS… I am betting with all the bloat that usually accompanies windoze the battery is taxed…

  • Anon

    A long term Windows fan, I know, just upgraded to WIndows 8 and guess what, he asked me to help him… What did he need help doing? TURNING OFF THE COMPUTER. Yep, true story. FYI- Any Corporation or business the ever runs Windows 8 better look at the cost of training employees first (how many hours of IT labor do they want to budget on telling employees HOW to TURN off their DESKTOPS? MS has lost their marbles this time. Their base is business and they will find the base looking elsewhere if employees need coaching on turning off their PCs.

    • buzz86us

      Yeah and with all this yearly windows os I can forsee more market fragmentation… right now I am in the market for a laptop and I am not sure on windows 8 I am considering just getting a ug802 and pairing it with my lap dock and running linux