The rumors are true: You’ll be able to buy Surface tablets at places other than just the Microsoft retail and online stores.
Microsoft announced today that Surface will available for sale at additional retailers in the U.S. and Australia as soon as mid-December. The company plans to expand availability in other countries as well in upcoming months.
“Our plan has been to expand the retail presence for Surface after the first of the year. Based on interest from retailers, we are giving them the option to carry Surface with Windows RT even earlier,” Steve Schueler, corporate vice president for Microsoft retail and marketing said in the company’s announcement.
Staples says it will start carrying Surface tablets starting Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
[Update 4:13 p.m.: Best Buy will start carrying the Surface on bestbuy.com starting Wednesday, and in stores starting Sunday, according to the company’s Twitter feed.]
Microsoft’s Surface tablets are the company’s first branded computing devices. The first of two versions — the Surface with Windows RT, which runs on ARM-based processors — became available in October with a starting price of $499. The Surface with Windows 8 Pro — which runs on Intel processors — is scheduled to become available in January with a starting price of $899.
Microsoft has not released sales figures for Surface. But CEO Steve Ballmer had referred earlier to Surface’s distribution model as modest. Reviews of the Surface RT have been mixed.
Microsoft also said today that several of its temporary, pop-up holiday stores would become permanent retail outlets.
(Photo of Surface from Microsoft)