Microsoft’s Surface: Coming Soon to a Best Buy and Staples Near You

The rumors are true: The Microsoft Store's Surface exclusivity is ending immediately.

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Windows guru Paul Thurrott’s scoop from last week has panned out: Microsoft has announced that other retailers besides its Microsoft Stores will begin selling its Surface tablets, effective right away. As the Verge’s Tom Warren reports, Surface will reach Staples and tomorrow, and Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores on Sunday.

Microsoft says that it had always intended to expand Surface distribution early next year, and expedited its plans based on requests from retailers. Makes sense to me: If I ran a chain of tech stores, I’d want to sell the most widely-discussed, heavily-advertised Windows tablet, too.

As long as Surface was available only from Microsoft’s own stores and site, it was tough for those of us on the outside to gauge how well it was selling — and even if it wasn’t going like gangbusters, it would be hard to say whether that was because consumers weren’t interested or because of limited distribution. Now Surface will be far more readily available, in stores which also sell iPads and Android tablets and which (unlike Microsoft Stores) probably won’t reconfigure themselves to put this one particular product in the center ring. It’ll be fascinating to see how it does.