We knew that the Surface tablet was eventually going to be available in places other than the Microsoft Store, but now it looks like that may happen sooner than anticipated.

Paul Thurrott over at windowsitpro.com says that “within days,” the Surface with Windows RT will be sold elsewhere before the holiday season is over.

I can’t say too much about this, but within days, Microsoft’s Surface with Windows RT tablets will be available far more broadly than via its current, limited distribution system (i.e., only via Microsoft’s retail and online stores). This was always going to happen in very early 2013, but the software giant has apparently decided to ramp up the speed and make it happen before the holiday selling season is over.

Microsoft’s tablet is only available at the company stores and online. They have also been on display at Verizon stores, though somewhat discreetly.

Lots of reports note unimpressive Surface sales and Microsoft could see fewer than 1 million sales in its debut quarter. Thurrott, however, says that this is incorrect.

“I’ve heard that they’re actually selling very well, given the “modest” distribution — and Surface sales represent one of the few bright spots in what is becoming an increasingly dire late-2012 launch season,” he writes.

Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft to steal some thunder from Android and iPad by 2016

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • someoneinwa

    If the stories I’ve heard about the interest in Surface RT by college students are true, it has seemed to me that sales in the vast college bookstore network owned by Microsoft partner Barnes & Noble makes sense. That plus a few of the mobile providers like Verizon and AT&T with lots of retail locations and perhaps even Staples and Office Max. I’d hope they wouldn’t go to Best Buy or Fry’s where the only tech skill required of employees to is memorize the details of the extended warranty.

  • SilverSee

    Hi Taylor… minor comment on branding and product naming:

    Surface is a Microsoft brand, not a Windows brand, so the normal way to refer to the overall product line is “Microsoft Surface” (similar to “HP Pavilion” or “Apple MacBook”).

    With regard to the individual tablets, most people refer to them as the “Surface RT” and the “Surface Pro”, though Microsoft prefers the more formal naming “Surface with Windows RT” and “Surface with Windows 8 Pro” on its web sites.

    As for “Surface sales have been unimpressive…”—this is speculative, as Microsoft has not released numbers. You could certainly say “some analysts have called Surface sales unimpressive”, however.

    I tend to believe Thurrott. We own two Surface RTs, and my son is waiting to buy a Surface Pro (and none of us works for Microsoft). Pretty much everywhere I take the thing I get asked about it. I definitely think there is some interest and a “window of opportunity” (pardon the pun) if Microsoft can figure out how to capitalize on it.


    • Taylor Soper

      Hello again SilverSee,
      Thanks for catching these and thanks for reading.

  • jvc

    and there they will sit, given the only buyers are microsoft apostles

    • http://twitter.com/M_Khalilian Michael Khalilian

      Well it’s the best tablet on the market…so if they don’t sell then Microsoft marketing has some questions to answer.

Job Listings on GeekWork