Microsoft’s differently successful tablet, the Surface RT, is to go on sale at John Lewis this weekend, marking a break from the firm’s policy of only selling it online through its website or at its retail stores.
The department is the first in the UK to sell the new device. The 10.6-inch tablet, launched in response to competition from the Apple iPad and Android tablets, will now start to become available from third party retailers.
The department store will flog the tablet with two-year warranty included for no extra cost.
As of today, the Surface RT is listed as a new arrival on John Lewis’s website (at the time of writing it appears to be out of stock). The stores themselves should have the tablet appearing on shelves this weekend.
The 32GB Surface is selling for £479, while the 64GB version is £559. Both come with a black Touch Keyboard cover.
Matt Leeser, head of buying for communication technology at John Lewis says, “Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touch screen models leading the way. We are committed to offering customers the very best tablet range available and believe that the innovative Microsoft Surface is a brilliant addition to our assortment.”
Sales of the tablet have been less-than-stellar with the company reportedly forced to cut back production due to low demand. It is hoped that making the tablet available through a wider distribution channel will lift sales.
Next year sees the release of Windows Surface Pro. This comes with an Intel chip making it compatible with many more applications build for x86 computers. The Surface RT runs on an ARM chip, which makes it incompatible with a large number of legacy Windows applications.
The tablet could also make an appearance in retail chain Dixon’s stores, but may not be available there until after Christmas.