Australian retailer JB Hi FI to start selling the Microsoft Surface before Christmas

Smarthouse.com.au reports that Australian retailers will soon start selling the Microsoft Surface, with JB Hi Fi confident that they will have stock in store before Christmas. Harvey Norman is also expected to carry the Windows RT tablet.

Scott Browning, the Marketing Director of JB Hi Fi, said "We have been talking to Microsoft for some time about selling their Surface tablet. It’s now a question of stock levels and whether we can get the device into stores prior to Christmas."

Browning said "This is a product that needs to be exposed to a consumer; they need to touch and feel it and only retail stores can do this. Online is a commodity sell and if a consumer does not know the product or has not seen it in store it is always going to be harder to sell online".

Smarthouse reports OEMs are not too happy with the move.

One Windows partner apparently said today "We said initially the Surface would not sell online. Now they are moving into retail stores in a move that could hurt sales of our own Android based and Windows based tablet PCs".

While we do not know how well the Surface is selling, we are sure it will sell a lot better if consumers are able to lay hands on the tablet before shelling out what is quite a bit of money.  Hopefully expanding availability will mean sales will also improve significantly.

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  • big_Stefano

    personally I can’t wait until PC World and Currys start selling the Surface. I’ve been trying to convince about 3 people from getting the iPad, the problem is there is nowhere to try this thing in person, and they are having a hard time buying the surface online out of faith without having tried it first.
    I’mpretty certain at £399 it will sell bucketloads more than anything else in the store because there aren’t any Windows tablets at a similar price. People need to try this before they buy it. Microsoft should’ve partnered with these supply chains straight from launch. What were they thinking?

  • Albert

    The OEM’s can complain as much as they like, They failed to offer any decent touch screen alternatives. Time to wake up from the sleepy hole they have been in for the last 5 years. Lets see some new innovation in the market.

    • The__Truth__Hurts

      I will say this over and over. The OEMs need to provide FEWER DEVICES, MORE OPTIONS.

      Jesus, I can’t find a single Ultrabook/hybrid that is packing a 1080p display (touch), 8GB memory, 2.0 Ghz i7 ULV CPU and 512GB of storage.

      Instead of making 20+ (god knows how many) different ultrabooks/hybrids/whatever HP, make 2(!!!!!) Ultrabook/hybrid. Offer 11 and 13 inch size options. Have 720p, 1080p, 1440p displays, 64GB to 512GB storage, i3, i5, i7 CPU’s and 4 and 8GB memory. This allows for ~$700 ultrabook/hybrid to $2250 ultrabook/hybrid.

      It allows you to FOCUS on making 2 killer devices, instead of 20+ ultrabooks/hybrids/whatever. And to put it bluntly, those 2 would cover a far larger market than those 20+ devices currently do.

      That can be said with Dell, Asus, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, etc..

  • AS147

    [QUOTE]
    One Windows partner apparently said today “We said initially the Surface would not sell online. Now they are moving into retail stores in a move that could hurt sales of our own Android based and Windows based tablet PCs”.
    [/QUOTE]

    Something doesn’t sound right with the story as the above comment indicates Microsoft cares whether they affect hurt Android sales!? Who cares!!!! MS certainly doesn’t!
    If MS starts worrying about its’ OEMs selling Android devices because it may hurth the OEM sales then the OEMs really have their cake and are trying to eat it. More than 90% of their revenue came from Windows and they need to expect MS to always only care about Windows.

  • Tips_y

    Wow the gall of that MS partner to say that moving the Surface to retail stores could hurt sales of their Android based tablets…! I feel like throwing up!

  • http://twitter.com/digthenoise Dig The Noise

    Was shopping for a tablet at my local BB for an Xmas present — something for casual use for my son, like an A110 or Galaxy or Lenovo. The one Windows 8 tablet there, the Asus, just looked so much better than anything else there that I just left to ponder the wisdom of my decision of thinking of an Android tablet.

    I have a Surface RT already, and I remember picking it up at the Microsoft store when I went to get the Acer RT but ended up with the Surface because I was so blown away by it — more than the Acer or Asus, which were displayed right next to the Surface. I have to believe Surface would do well in mainstream electronic retail if not buried in the back — put it right next to the Galaxy, Kindle, iPad etc. and let it shine.

    To heck with the OEMs if they can’t compete in the hardware arena with what is primarily a software house — that’s just sad.

  • DW

    The fun will start when they undercut the Microsoft website. Surely, they won’t have to sell it for the same as the list price!

  • Rich

    I went to a local BestBuy this weekend and I have to say it worries me. I was once again looking for a Clover Trail tablet to take a look at the performance, and saw a lady talking to a sales person about buying a tablet. The lady was apparently very interested in ASUS Vivo Tab RT, but the sales person kept persuading her into buying an Android tablet. She already said she doesn’t use many apps, and doesn’t play games, yet he kept telling her Windows RT doesn’t have this app nor that app. He didn’t mention RT includes Office until I said it next to her. I talked to another sales person asking about the Atom tablet (since in my previous experience they have no idea what Clover Trail is), and his answer was, Atom is slow, and any of those Android tablets will run faster than any Atom tablet. Given that is the general attitude of sales associates at BestBuy, I really worry what will happen to Surface once it gets there. Oh, BTW, that store managed to get three Windows 8 machines showing “Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC”.

  • Davey

    Hearing about OEMs whining soooo turns me off their brand. “Oh we can’t compete, ohhhh fret fret”.
    Hey!!! Build a better device!!! Lazy gits!

  • Lachlan

    I went to jbhifi (in the city – sydney) twice in 3 weeks and they had no convertibles from oems, only the slider from sony. I was able to try the samsung tablets at their own store but other oems less luck. I went harvey norman to look, none on display, only had 2 samsung in stock, bing lee had no convertibles, good guys had the samsung rt one. Oems cant complain if they arent putting their products properly out there, I still havent seen the asus or hp tablets after all those stores, its ridiculous and im a very potential customer.

  • cc

    YES! I can finally see one in the flesh! haha

  • TWPandora

    I blame MS for this because two years ago they laid out a roadmap to have over 75 MS Retail Stores across the country by now and they have 31. They best and only way MS can control the shopping experience is to do it themselves. They now have a fantastic lineup of hardware and software and a great story to tell. They just do not have enough stores to tell it.

  • Schooner1984

    This is great news for MS. IMO this means a couple of things – the Surface is not going to be killed right away, MS believes it can keep up with production demand and their IS demand for the product. Now if MS would only bundle it with a W8 Phone (get as much of a discount on the phone as the Surface HD size as an example – if not outright give them away with activation). Steps in the right direction.

    • AS147

      It doesn’t matter what a single naysayer reviewer says the Surface tablet has generated massive interest and had MS released it to the multiple channels earlier it would outsell every OEM tablet out there (as long as MS could service the demand).
      However MS didn’t want to upset the OEM channel, but as it turns out they are now going to and do so at the busiest time of the year!
      They probably did this for two reasons
      1. OEMs were not providing sufficient supply for a massive marketing campaign MS invested in and were seeing this interest not being satiated by W8 devices so some buyers were looking at non Windows solutions – effectively MS was spending and giving Android and Apple their customers!
      2. The demand was there and the Christmas period was too good a period to pass up
      However, they need to reinvest in the current advertising campaign and this time add to the marketing message that it is available at XYZ retailers, Online and at MS stores.
      The problem is that MS may be too late to do this as all of the marketing material is probably locked in and can’t be changed but if there is any that can be modified or if there is ad space available to create new messages they should do so quickly.
      Otherwise you will hear the press say “look I told you so” when they don’t sell as many as some believe they should. There is no doubt getting this out into the market through additional channels will help but it is VERY late as most people will have made up their minds what they are buying so the channels won’t be able to take advantage.
      Still this is a long race and not a sprint its just a shame MS waited so long.