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Surface RT now available at Best Buy and Staples online

Just as was reported yesterday, Microsoft has begun to push their Surface RT into third party retailers—a move that was not suppose to occur until after the New Year.

Heading to Best Buy’s and Staples online stores we can see the Surface RT now available, with the Surface front and center on Best Buy's site. The popular retailers are carrying three version: 32GB with no keyboard, 32GB with black Touch Cover and a 64GB with black Touch Cover. No word on accessories or other colors for the Touch Cover being available, though perhaps they are in store. The prices are the same ranging from $499 up to $699.


The Surface RT on Best Buy's website

We haven't been to our local stores to see if physical stock is in and on display, though we're sure it probably will be soon enough.

Microsoft is reportedly ramping up production of the Surface RT due to high demand and is getting deals with electronic retailers to help distribute the tablet. This is certainly great news as many folks don’t live near a Microsoft Store and therefore can never see one in person. With much higher visibility, we should hopefully see the Surface RT sales take off 

Of course a cynical interpretation would be that Surface wasn’t selling so well, so Microsoft is pushing up their retail strategy to aid the underperforming device. With no solid sale figures to confirm or deny, we’ll just have to wait and see. Thanks, David D., for the tip!

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Reader comments

Surface RT now available at Best Buy and Staples online

73 Comments

makes me believe they were not selling well, and why would they if only a small portion of consumers have access to a Microsoft store.

I don't know though, while they aren't sold out online, they were initially, if it didn't sell well, it would never have sold out in the first place... Its a hard read to tell what the motivation is.

it is hard to tell. Numbers are almost always released...unless sales are poor. We were given number of xbox360s sold during blackfriday week. Perhaps it sold well enough for microsoft to think they can directly compete with the surface in stores.

Really wish this person would get banned from posting.  This is the third exact copy I've seen today alone.  Sadly from three *apparently* different authors.

What ever their motive, its clear that more surface area they cover the greater the opportunity to make a sale. I bought one, Ms store is 10 min from work. Love it though I may want to do all of my mobile computing on a surface so I'm considering the pro. Yey, after Christmas shopping!

Cool. Just bought a second 64gb RT yesterday from Microsoft. Great to see more outlets.

Add Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, and North Dakota (and possibly others).  Residents of any state in which Amazon has a physical presence must pay sales tax on Amazon purchases (assuming the state collects sales tax).

1. No tax. I would save $25
2. Free 2 day Prime shipping.
3. Easy returns.
4. Amazon Visa Points. Buying from Amazon is 3 points per dollar, compared to the regular 1 point per dollar. 1 point gives you $0.01 in cashback. 499.99 * 3 = 1499.97 points * 0.01 = $15 in cashback.
Compare all that with buying from Best Buy: Best Buy price after taxes = $524.99 - $5.25 (1 to 1 points using Amazon Visa) = $519.74 not including gas to drive to Best Buy. Amazon price - cashback = $484.99 and wasted no gas.

yeah sure like buying it from amazon for the same $499 will make any difference... haha. do you like the smell of amazon cardboard or something? :D

It would save you 50 bucks if you live in a state where Amazon purchases aren't taxed. And you would still get the same box, don't be foolish, it would just be enclosed in a larger Amazon box.

Except that any state such as taht, but does have sales tax, you are required to report those online purchases on your state tax return at the end of the year (this would include purchases from well known sites such as Newegg or buy.com, etc.). Really there is no way to legally get around not paying the sales tax in those states, unless you're less than 100% honest on your taxes.

Exactly.  I'm glad to see that there are others that understand this....  I get kinda irked to hear folks say that because you buy online from Amazon, you don;t have to pay sales tax...
 

Well... as far as i know that would be the only way for me to buy a Surface RT and make them ship it to México ._.

I barely leave the house for shopping... Prime shipping baby. Also Amazon returns and exchanges are far easier than BB. But I already have a surface.

I can't buy a Surface on Amazon at the moment, the only way is to get it from resellers and I'm not going to pay 100 extra dollars

Why not just head to Amazon? How much will you pay me to place your order for you right now? ;)

I ordered the 32GB with touch cover from Best Buy about an hour ago and the status has just been updated to backordered. So it looks like, while they are available to be purchased online, Best Buy does not currently have any in stock.

no you wouldn't, because Walmart puts everything that can "walk" behind glass, so these would live with the iPads in a case.
 
The whole point of this is to put them into the grubby hands of more people.  If you have no need to try one first, the option to buy one online has been available since Oct 26th.

Oh please.. Until the price go down i ain't buying it...i said before it has to be $300 then 39 for the keyboard...its RT..

Then you will be waiting a while, my guess. I am less greedy, knock it down to 399 and I would buy. 400 is my sweet spot

This is good. Every time (3 times) I've been to a Fry's since SUrface came out someone was asking abotu them. And it's not like I was hanging around the main desk a lot. SO either I was incredibly fortunate to be there at the right moment at least 3 times, or there are a lot of people asking about this.

I love love love my surface rt and the patch yesterday sped things up even more. But for the pro ... I would trade my RT in any day. I wonder what will be the best way to sell my RT so I pay minimal for my PRO upgrade....

Maybe... Just maybe .. They only now are distributing to major retailers because they (ding ding ding) finally got their stock issues sorted out. Doesn't anybody remember them having trouble fulfilling orders in the beginning?!?!?!?

that and they did want to give a window to OEMs. Maybe they feel OEMs aren't doing a good enough job selling Win8 tablets or maybe they feel they gave them enough time.

It was probably always the plan to expand to other stores after the holidays, it could be that Best Buy really wanted these devices because customers were asking about it.

whatever the reason, now that the Surface will be available everywhere, we'll see how well it does without any excuses

They should have executed a 1-2 punch of MS Stores (online and brick and mortar) along with being in third party stores from the beginning. I don't understand why they waited, did it really pacify OEMs to wait several weeks for this? They had to know that they were going to have to endure annoying articles and news from the blogosphere on claims of poor sales. Glad they are at least moving earlier. The Pro version can't arrive soon enough though.

Wow, this comment thing sucks.  I just spend 30 min typing somethingout and now it wont let me post b/c the website thinks its spam....
Lame.

I'd guess that maybe they had an internal figure that they wanted to sell to prove "success" or not.  If that sales number was achieved then they would expand to other retailers.  The first go around of sales were essentially beta testing the new product to gauge reaction/usability.  I read somewhere that they "had always planned to go the retail route after the first of the year" so who knows?  Maybe they met sales projections sooner than expected and wanted to cash in on the holiday season.  I still think the touch cover should be included.  

They said they were ramping up production due to high demand, so I think it's doing well. Still don't really understood why the MS Store only approach, maybe it was to not upset OEMs.

Wrong. Reports suggest that they lowered production from 4 million to only 2 million. Also Ballmer himself said that Surface sales were only 'modest'.

I was very keen to get an RT at launch, but then they announced the price - without a keyboard. I can have a similar Android tablet for half the price, and it would have more of the apps I want already available. I'm afraid I've walked away from Windows RT.

Sucks you feel that way =/ but wouldn't you want the power of a PC at your hands? having the desktop, running apps side by side? the USB capabilities? idk man ive done heavy thinking and no matter the apps in googles ecosystem, i cant justify it over a surface and what i can do productivity wise. and yes my current phone is an Evo LTE so i know what google offers, great phone and ever since ICS the apps have gotten awesome updates, but the surface to me is the ideal tablet for work, meetings, and grad school.

Android tablet is not that good! I know I have a Nexus 7 because it is cheap but if I have the money for Surface I rather by it instead. BTW my Nexus 7 already got malware and I don't know how I got it and i have to restore it back.

Don't know why you all want a surface pro, you want an intel tablet with a kickstand?  I think if you want intel and x86 you would all be better buying a loptop.  
I have a surface RT and i'm very happy to be leaving the old win32 apis and x86 in the past.

The Surface also goes on sale in Australia today (Friday) at Harvey Norman and JB HiFi, it's now up on their sites.

It is on display here at local Galleria Best Buy in Buffalo NY by the mobile phones with absolutely no fan fair or advertising. Nobody will find it there.