Surface lands in stores as Microsoft boosts production

Microsoft says public reaction to Surface RT has been "exciting"

12 Dec 2012

Microsoft has stepped up manufacturing of its Surface tablet and will introduce it to third-party retailers this week.

The moves suggest Microsoft is seeing some demand for the Surface RT in the crucial end-of-year shopping spree, although it has yet to divulge any sales figures.

"The public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see," said Panos Panay, general manager of Microsoft's Surface project, which forms part of the company's Windows unit.

The public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see

"We've increased production and are expanding the ways in which customers can interact with, experience and purchase Surface," said Panay, but gave no details of how many extra units were being produced.

Panay did not mention names of retailers that will sell the Surface or specific plans for the UK, but retailer Staples said it would stock the tablet from today in the US.

Panay said the Surface would also be on sale at retailers in Australia from mid-December, with more countries to follow in the next few months.

Since launch in late October, the Surface has only been sold by Microsoft itself, in its own brick and mortar stores in the US and Canada and online in Australia, China, France, the UK and Germany.

The only Surface model available now - Surface with Windows RT - runs a version of Windows created to work on the low-power chips designed by ARM, which dominate smartphones and tablets. The Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be introduced in January, running on an Intel chip.

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