A couple weeks back, we learned that Microsoft would be taking steps to dramatically increase the retail presence of its Surface tablet, introducing the product to the shelves of retailers like Staples and Best Buy. Up until then, if you wanted a Surface you had to order online or track down one of Microsoft’s own retail locations. In theory, that could have helped Microsoft score some last-minute holiday sales. A report out this week doesn’t quite paint that picture, however, and suggests these new retail avenues might not have a huge impact on how the Surface fares.
While we don’t yet have any hard numbers to look at, analysts have been in touch with the retailers now selling Surface tablets, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much enthusiasm for Microsoft’s gear. Both Best Buy and Staples have reportedly seen sales that are “modest” at best, and staff at some stores don’t seem to be pushing the Surface at all, instead directing customers who don’t specifically ask for it by name towards other, more popular tablets.
To be fair, these stores haven’t had very much time with Surface just yet, and part of that hesitation to promote it just might be due to staff unfamiliarity with the product. Especially with the coming launch of the Windows 8 Pro Surface, that could easily be ready to change.