Confirming my earlier reports, Microsoft on Wednesday announced plans to make its Surface with Windows RT tablets available via other retailers immediately. Originally, the company had planned to increase the distribution of Surface in early 2013.
Microsoft also announced that it will extend the availability of its holiday retail stores past the holidays and into early 2013, and will transition several of the stores into permanent Microsoft retail outlets.
“The public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see,” Microsoft General Manager Panos Panay said. “We’ve increased production and are expanding the ways in which customers can interact with, experience, and purchase Surface.”
As I wrote Monday in the article "In Bid to Save Christmas, Microsoft Broadens Surface Distribution," I had exclusively revealed these plans a week earlier on the Windows Weekly podcast.
Surface with Windows RT will be available at additional retailers starting tomorrow, December 12. Pricing hasn't changed, and Microsoft still offers the same three models, which run from $499 to $699, plus accessories that include a Type Cover, Touch Cover, and a power adapter. Microsoft didn’t announce which retailers will be selling the devices.
Microsoft’s announcement this week also didn't address Surface with Windows 8 Pro, which the firm has said will become available in January. But my obviously reliable sources say it will be very late January, and just days before the retail release of Office 2013.