Microsoft will bring its Surface RT tablet to other stores sometime in the next few days according to a Windows IT Pro report.
According to the report Microsoft planned to bring the Surface RT to other retailers sometime in early 2013, but recently decided to make the move sooner. If the report is correct, stores like Best Buy will likely carry the Surface RT very soon.
Microsoft currently only sells the Surface RT tablet at Microsoft stores and online through its website. The company also set up pop-up stores in cities and kiosks in malls across the U.S. to show off the tablet. Those stores and kiosks are only temporary, however, so Microsoft needs a plan to sell the Surface tablets when the pop-up shops are gone.
Despite the “modest distribution” of the Surface RT in the few Microsoft retail locations in the U.S. Windows IT Pro claims the Surface RT is selling very well. There’s no number given, only that previous estimates of 500,000 to 600,000 units are inaccurate. It’s difficult to know anything about sales until Microsoft gives actual numbers.
Microsoft also plans to release the Surface Pro tablet with the full Windows 8 in January 2013. It’s not clear if Microsoft plans to release the Surface Pro in other retailers on day one, or if it plans to wait. If the company had plans to bring the Surface RT to other stores, however, it only makes sense that it has plans to bring the Surface Pro to more retailers as well.
Surface RT availability at stores like Best Buy is an important step towards the success of the $499 tablet, which competes with the iPad and Android tablets.
Microsoft will need to educate retailers and consumers about the difference between Windows RT and the full version of Windows found on the Surface Pro and on the many Windows 8 laptops and Ultrabook convertibles that line the shelves of Best Buy and other retailers.
Windows 8 and Windows RT both have a desktop mode, but in Windows RT only Office and a few other Windows apps can use it. On the Surface Pro and Windows 8 laptops, the Desktop mode supports regular Windows apps.