An analyst with Detwiler Fenton said last week that Microsoft's Surface wasn't doing so well. The analyst attributed the lack of success to two causes - limited distribution and a high price. Microsoft hasn't fixed the price yet, but it is fixing its distribution issues as soon as next week.
Microsoft announced today that it plans to make its Surface tablet available at retailers as soon as mid-December. It doesn't list which retailers the Surface will be making an appearance in, but we can assume that stores that regularly host Microsoft products will host the Surface as well.
“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 Panos Panay, general manager, Microsoft Surface.
Microsoft previously said that it planned to only offer the Surface exclusively via its Web site or retail stores, but that apparently was only just a clever ruse. The company claims that it had always intended to offer the Surface via other retail outlets in 2013, but "interest from retailers" has pushed it to offer the new tablet even earlier.
What about all those special Microsoft stores that opened up for the holidays just to sell the Surface and Windows Phones? Microsoft is going to keep them open beyond the new year, and maybe even convert them to full-on brick-and-mortar retail outlets for all things Microsoft. Those that don't make the cut will be converted into specialty stores.
It's good to see Microsoft fixing its first mistake, but I fear the Surface may still only pull "modest" numbers until Microsoft can wrangle in the price. The Surface RT will continue its position in last place until Microsoft can get the price to a more manageable $300.