After the messy launch of the Surface Pro tablet nine days ago that left many would-be buyers frustrated due to short supply, Microsoft is doing what it can to ramp up supply before customers start looking elsewhere.
In a post on the Surface blog over the weekend, the Redmond-based company said, “Starting right now, you can visit the online Microsoft Store (US) and place an order for the 128GB Surface Pro that will ship within 2-3 weeks, based on incoming inventory.” Key words: “…based on incoming inventory.” At the time of writing, Microsoft’s online store says buy the 128GB Surface Pro today and it’ll ship by March 1.
The computer maker adds: “Once inventory is depleted, the system will show as ‘out of stock’ until new inventory is available to ship.” It’s hardly necessary for Microsoft to state the obvious, but in doing so perhaps it’s trying to show us how eager it is to be absolutely clear about the situation.
As for picking up the device at a Best Buy store, Microsoft assures customers that inventory levels are increasing, though many stores are selling their supply of tablets almost as soon as they come in.
If you turn up and are told the store has sold out of Surface Pros, it is possible to reserve one, but Microsoft says you should be aware that “Best Buy is only taking reservations in their stores for Surface Pro based on new inventory they know is coming in next week, so it’s possible that reservations could become ‘sold out’.” Reading that, it still sounds like something of a sticky situation for Microsoft – has anyone actually been told by a store clerk that they’ve sold out of reservations?
If a Staples store has no stock when you visit, Microsoft says in its post that “you can place a kiosk order in store to purchase Surface Pro 64GB for delivery” – however, it makes no mention of the 128GB version.
Canada-based shoppers receive much the same advice – those going to Best Buy and Future Shop stores can currently reserve the 64GB Surface Pro, with “more details to come on the 128GB Surface Pro availability in Canada.”
Perhaps the best advice comes towards the end of the blog post: “We recommend you call your local store ahead of time prior to traveling.”
While it is of course not unheard of for a tech company to sell out of a device soon after launch, there have been some suggestions that Microsoft deliberately kept supply low in order to help create a buzz around the product, with some stores thought to have had only a few Surface Pro tablets for sale on launch day.
It’s the $999 128GB version which appears to be in shortest supply, with fewer reports of stores selling out of the $899 64GB model. This may be the result of potential buyers being put off by reports that the 64GB Surface Pro is shipping with only 23GB of available storage, with the operating system and native apps eating up 40GB of space. The 128GB version, on the other hand, ships with 83GB of available storage.