(By Balaseshan) Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) said it intends to make available its most-anticipated tablet -- Microsoft Surface -- at additional retailers as soon as mid-December.
In addition, the company announced the extension of the Microsoft holiday stores, including the transition of several of the stores into permanent Microsoft retail outlets.
As early as mid-December, consumers will be able to go to retail stores in the United States and Australia to purchase a Surface with Windows RT, the company said. Additional availability will be added in a number of countries in the coming months.
Surface 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.
"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.
Based on the success of the Microsoft holiday stores, the company will extend all of these locations into the new year. These stores will transition into either permanent brick-and-mortar retail outlets or specialty store locations.
Starting at $499, Surface combines the functionality of a laptop with the portability of a tablet. From the fun and unique touch cover that provides a super-thin, spill-resistant keyboard in a variety of vibrant colors to the integrated kickstand that enables hands-free entertainment, Surface stands out while delivering value and performance like nothing else on the market.
With Windows apps, SkyDrive cloud connectivity, HD video, Xbox Music, games, a full-size USB port, a microSD card slot and the productivity of Office Home & Student 2013 RT, Surface with Windows RT brings work and play together in style.
"Our plan has been to expand the retail presence for Surface after the first of the year. Based on interest from retailers, we are giving them the option to carry Surface with Windows RT even earlier," said Steve Schueler, corporate vice president, Microsoft Retail Sales and Marketing.
MSFT closed Tuesday's regular session up 1.41% at $27.32. The stock has been trading between $25.29 and $32.95 for the past 52 weeks.