updated 07:38 pm EST, Tue December 11, 2012
Staples to start carrying Surface on December 12
Following earlier reports that Microsoft's Surface was bound for more outlets, Staples, the world's largest office products company, announced that it would begin carrying the Surface RT at all of its locations and in its online store as early as December 12. The move comes as Microsoft is looking to expand the availability of its Windows RT tablet, even as conflicting reports have it cast as a flop or a solid performer. The Redmond software giant has announced that it will be increasing production of the Surface RT and putting the device into more traditional retailers to get it closer to consumers by the middle of this month.
According to Microsoft, this expansion in the availability of the Surface RT has been part of the company's plan since the device's release, with the device initially scheduled to go into wider availability early next year. Microsoft says, though, that "interest from retailers" has caused the company to extend "the option to carry Surface with Windows RT even earlier."
The Surface RT will continue to be available for purchase at all Microsoft retail stores in the United States and Canada and online in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Microsoft will also be extending the life of its pop-up stores through the new year, with some of them transitioning into permanent brick-and-mortar retail outlets.
In addition to Staples, Best Buy will begin offering the Surface RT on BestBuy.com beginning December 12 at 12:00 CST. Surface RT will be available in all Best Buy and select Best Buy Mobile specialty stores beginning Sunday December 16.
Staples will begin carrying the Surface RT at some locations as early as tomorrow. It comes preloaded with Office Home & Student 2013RT, and Staples will include an exclusive "8 Was Easy" offer that gives free personalized training, free support, and free startup with the purchase of any Windows 8 computer.