As a result of doing poorly (or “modestly”) in its first two months after its October 26 launch, the Microsoft Surface RT and its soon-to-debut higher-end counterpart, the Surface Pro, will be launched outside of Microsoft’s own distribution channels. In the United States, Best Buy and Wal-Mart will be carrying the Surface line of tablets, thus giving consumers a few alternatives aside from buying the slates at a Microsoft brick-and-mortar store or on the company’s online store. Over in the United Kingdom, retailer John Lewis has just started selling the Surface RT, becoming the first UK chain of stores to offer the beleaguered tablet.
Matt Lesser, head of buying for communication technology for John Lewis, said that the retailer is “committed to offering customers the very best tablet range available and believe that the innovative Microsoft Surface (RT) is a brilliant addition to our assortment.” Public reception to the launch of the Surface, apparently, has been quite good so far. Both variants of the Surface RT tablet are listed as Out of Stock on the John Lewis website, regardless of whether the devices come with a Touch Cover or not. The 32 GB Surface RT with Touch Cover costs £479, while the 64 GB version, also with the combination cover/keyboard included is priced at £559.
With the Surface RT and eventually the Surface Pro being offered outside of Microsoft, the company hopes that the added channels would help perk up sales of the tablet which have been described by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as “modest.” The Surface Pro will be launching next month and will start at a price of $899 without Touch Cover for United States customers.