Microsoft Plans to Sell Surface Tablets at Major Retail Chains - Expert

Microsoft to Compete Against Its Own Customers with Surface in Non-Microsoft Stores

by Anton Shilov
12/07/2012 | 03:48 PM



Although Microsoft Corp. once said that it would not compete against its own customers with Surface-series media tablets and would limit their availability, the phase two of the Surface roll-out, apparently, includes sales of media tablets via nearly all possible sales channels. Given the fact that Microsoft has very high brand recognition, this will pose a strong challenge to its partners.

“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,” wrote Paul Thurrot, a well-known Microsoft expert, at Windows ITPro web-site.

The reason why Microsoft decided to release its own-brand media tablet based on Windows RT has been clear from the very start: to create a reference device that takes maximum advantage of the operating system’s capabilities. While the company did say that Surface slates will only be available from Microsoft’s retail stores and select online stores, the company never wanted Surface to be a limited edition product. The initial success of the Surface on Windows RT tablet clearly points that it in many ways lacks direct competitors and therefore Microsoft must continue to boost its availability so to increase its positions on the rapidly growing market of tablets.

“I have heard that [Microsoft Surface on Windows RT] are 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,” added Mr. Thurrot.

While Microsoft did not comment on the news-story, one of the readers of ZDnet pointed out that Microsoft Surface tablets are available for pre-order via one French retailer.