Microsoft has brought in premium retailer John Lewis to flog its Surface RT slablet just days after shooting down its pure direct sales strategy.
Redmond confirmed on Wednesday that it was enlisting a network of retailers to push its device in Europe from next year, claiming it was ramping production to meet demand.
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This is what Microsoft should have done from the start - there is only one vendor that has managed to bypass channel partners to sell its kit, and even Apple has an army of third-party sellers.
Yesterday sources close to Microsoft's channel confirmed it is in talks with Dixons Retail over stocking the fondleslab, but it was unclear if the kit would arrive before Christmas.
Premium outlet John Lewis has got in earlier and is carrying the 64GB and 32 GB models for £559 and £479 respectively, which will sit alongside similarly priced and much loved iPads.
In a statement, Matt Leeser, head of buying for communication technology at John Lewis, claimed: "Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touchscreen models leading the way."
He added: "We are committed to offering customers the very best tablet range available and believe that the innovative Microsoft Surface is a brilliant addition to our assortment."
John Lewis is carrying more than 90 Windows 8 devices online but a little more than a handful are Touch enabled.
Other vendors including HP and RIM found demand for their respective TouchPad and PlayBook machines soared after they were given a bargain basement tag. ®