The Microsoft Surface RT was initially launched in select locations and only through Microsoft’s Online Store or its brick-and-mortar stores. This partial rollout of the tablet was heavily criticized as most people had no access to live units of the device to use it before making the purchase. Although Microsoft Stores had the tablet in display, the volume of these stores were very less which meant that most potential buyers had to rely on third party accounts of the device or merely check out images of the device on Microsoft’s Online Store.
But all that is set to change now with Microsoft deciding to finally make the device available in stores other than Microsoft’s own. Starting with Australia and the U.S, the tablet will go up on sale on the shelves of electronic retailers. Although MS didn’t mention exactly which retailers will get it, in the U.S it was confirmed that Staples and Best Buy will have the device in stock beginning today. Other reports claim that the device could be hitting retailers like JB-HiFi and Harvey Norman in Australia. More countries will follow suit in the coming months, apparently. Microsoft issued a statement yesterday which detailed the wider roll out of the device.
According to Microsoft, retailers have been very keen on getting the Surface RT on their shelves which is what convinced Microsoft to take this move earlier than expected. Microsoft can expect volume of sales to increase post this new roll out. Electronics retailers have a lot of customers walking in everyday and it would clearly impact the sales of the Surface RT substantially if not extravagantly. It was initially reported that Microsoft would expand the availability of the tablet with the Surface Pro starting from next year, but it seems like Microsoft wanted to get in on some of the holiday season business.
Initial reports claimed that Microsoft would be looking to sell about 600,000 Surface RTs this month during the holiday season. Now with the expanded roll out, that seems like a plausible figure. Going by Microsoft’s standards, a sales figure of 600,000 in the presence of stalwarts like the iPad and the two Nexus tablets isn’t bad at all. It is being said that Microsoft is looking to make some of its holiday stores permanent in the U.S, although it failed to mention which ones exactly.