Microsoft launched its curious Surface Pro hybrid earlier this week, but it turns out that actually trying to buy one was a bit more problematic than people had hoped. Folks looking to get their hands on one of the 128GB models had it especially rough — the $999 device sold out in Microsoft’s online store and some of the company’s retail outlets, not to mention some Best Buy and Staples locations.
Well, according to a tweet from Surface GM Panos Panay, the process of snagging a 128GB Surface Pro will be much easier in just a few days — he confirmed that units were on their way to Best Buy and Microsoft retail stores and that they would be ready to sell by Saturday.
Naturally, Panay didn’t let that tentative timeframe slip uncajoled — he engaged the masses on Twitter in an hour-long chat earlier today that also saw him tackle questions about the Surface Pro’s stylus and the company’s toe-tapping commercials. It wasn’t until a user named @EvanSturdivant pressed Panay on the generic statement about Surface Pro availability he had previously issued that the truth finally came out.
At first glance, all these reports of Surface Pro sell-outs seem to point to a considerable amount of demand for the product — Paul Thurrott noted the existence of “Apple-like lines” in some Microsoft stores — but we’ve since learned that the scarcity of the Surface Pro may have had more to do with limited supply than overwhelming demand. Both 64 and 128GB Surface Pros were apparently in short supply when some people called around asking for them, and one unlucky ZDNet writer had to schlep to a Microsoft Store 50 miles from where he lived because it was the only place he could find a 128GB model. As is usually the case, some people began to cook up some strange conspiracy theories (like one that claimed Microsoft deliberately limited supplies in order to say that it had sold out of Surface Pros), but I seriously doubt that’s the case. Sure, the whole rigmarole was a headache for people itching for a high-end Surface Pro, but the smart money’s on all this being an issue of mismanagement and not malice.