Microsoft seems to have learned a lesson here. The Microsoft Surface RT was only available online on their site and in their flagship stores. The issue with this is that these stores simply are few and far between and for a new product like this, people really want to use it in a store before buying it. Couple the small number of stores with the fact that people don’t even know that Microsoft has stores of their own and people asking me why my iPad is made of metal makes more sense. It’s safe to assume that they probably did this originally so as to not compete with their retail partners like HP, Dell, etc. who all have their own Windows 8 tablets to sell through these channels.
With the Pro, their version of the Surface that allow users to install apps that aren’t in the App Market, Microsoft is rethinking this strategy and looks to be putting the new Surface in their usual retail distribution centers like Best Buy. So if you haven’t been able to check one out yet (and I recommend you do), now’s your chance.