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[Rumor] Microsoft Surface Tablet May Sell Only in Microsoft Stores


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According to some unsubstantiated rumors at CNET, when the new Microsoft Surface tablet finally goes on sale later this year, you might have a hard time finding it. According to their report, the tablet will not go on sale in regular retail chains like Best Buy or Target, but instead will be available on in Microsoft Stores in the United States only. This doesn't seem like a huge sell-through plan, especially considering there are only about 20 Microsoft Stores in the country.

It's hard to see this rumor as being that accurate, since it wouldn't make much sense for Microsoft to basically make it impossible for a large swath of consumers to never even be able to see it, let alone purchase it. Perhaps they will also offer it online as well, or perhaps this rumor will simply turn out to be false. There is one other possibility as well. Maybe these rumors are accurate, and this is Microsoft's plan to avoid angering all of their Windows Tablet partners, while drumming up business for their brick and mortar stores. We will keep an eye on this to see if any other details emerge.

Source: CNET
This would be an epic failure on MS part. Unless they mean to sell them online too.

I don't think there is an MS store in all of MA which means I may never see one.
Wait! Microsoft has stores? Not in Wisconsin :( I would hope online too! Otherwise I would have to go against what I believe is a bad choice and get an Asus, If there not online or in Wisconsin I'm not getting it :(

Looked at the list! I make it to Illinois twice a year and Minnesota once where my cousins live they could buy one and bring it down they come 3 times a year so I should be able to get it but not right away
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I actually don't find this to be surprising. I wouldn't expect MS to make a big retail push here. I don't think it is their plan to be the primary hardware manufacturer of Windows 8 tablets and they don't want to be in the hardware business selling this in mass quantities. Of course they want it to do well and to sell as many as possible but they aren't going to be building any new plants in China to crank these out.

A release in the MS Stores and in the MS Online Store (not a rumor it says coming soon Microsoft Store Online - Welcome) makes sense. I would expect maybe they would do some temporary Surface experience stores as well sort of like they did with the smoked by Windows Phone challenges. Maybe a special partnership with BestBuy. Of course this won't be an all out blitz of Walmart, Target, Costco and your local grocery store but it should be enough availability to purchase easily with a little more difficulty getting hands on.
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If they do like Asus and only manufacture a handful a week (lol) such as seemed to be the case for the TF 101 and the TF 201 and especially after 3 solid months of the TF 201 sales when it was reported that only 88,000 had been sold, then trying to get 1 of these tablets will probably not be worth the effort involved!
That depends on what their goal is. The assumption being made is that they want to make money on the successful sale of tablets. While that is probably true to a certain extent they basically said at the announcement event that the purpose wasn't to compete with their partners but to simply raise the bar and show what could be done. Of course they will be happy to ship as many Surface tablets as possible (or at least as many as they have geared up production for) and without a doubt wan't a success. In the long run they really want Windows 8 and Windows RT as an overall OS and platform to be successful above and beyond their Surface device sales though.
I doubt they would that. I think a move like that would impact their sales in a negative way, especially in this situation when they are trying to gain ground in the tablet market.
I have no doubt in my mind that they will be available online :s I buy everything online so if I get one I'm not to worried about availability
There is no way this is happening. They will be in stores for people to go touch and feel on. I can't see MS being this ignorant.
I also doubt that this rumor turns out to be true. I would not necessarily go online to buy one and I suppose a lot of people might fit into that category. If it doesn't appear in Best Buy, so I can pick one up and look up close, I might not get one.