Microsoft's Surface tablet is currently for sale only via the company's website and brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores. But the Surface may soon be available in many more places and in time for Christmas.
According to Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott, Microsoft is accelerating its plans to get its Surface RT tablet on the store shelves of major retailers. Citing no sources, Thurrott says the Surface could be landing at some of those stores within the next few days. The company had originally planned to expand retail distribution of Surface in early 2013, but Thurrott says it's decided to "ramp up" that schedule for unknown reasons.
The post goes on to say Surface sales are performing beyond what is generally believed (i.e. that they're a disaster), and that it's selling "very well" for the limited distribution. In an previous interview with a Parisian newspaper, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had said sales were "modest," though Microsoft quickly clarified his comments, saying response has been "fantastic."
Microsoft also said last week that it had so far sold 40 million licenses for Windows 8 which the Surface is a showcase for. However, the number is relatively meaningless, since it doesn't parse out how many of those licenses are for software sold to consumers and how many are simply obtained by manufacturers to build and sell products (which are probably sitting on a shelf somewhere).
In short, it's still unclear just how successful Windows 8 and the Surface have been for Microsoft. The company's move to accelerate availability could be in response to higher-than-expected demand, but it could equally be a desperate move to increase sales by getting the product on more store shelves before the end of the year.