Microsoft's new Surface tablet will be coming to Canada on October 26, the day after Microsoft hosts its big reveal of its new Windows 8 operating system. If you want to get your hands on one, though, you'll have to be pretty strategically located.
Four pop-up stores will be appearing in Canada for the launch to sell the Microsoft Surface: Eaton Centre, Toronto; Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby; Oakridge Centre, Vancouver and West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton. These stores will be open for the duration of the holiday shopping season.
The four Canadian stores are part of Microsoft's larger strategy to promote their new tablet across North America. Altogether, there will be 32 pop-up continental locations to complement the 24 permanent stores in the United States.
The Microsoft Surface will only be sold through official Microsoft channels, such as their pop-up and permanent stores, for the rest of 2012. According to an earlier press release, the Surface will also be available through "select online Microsoft Stores," but the report doesn't specify if that includes Canada.
The Microsoft Surface will also be sold in the first permanent Canadian Microsoft store, located in Toronto's Yorkdale Mall, but that won't be opening until November 16. This location will become Microsoft's first international store.
"We're delighted to have the first international Microsoft Store," Long said at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto earlier this year. "Yorkdale is the location we chose because it's top-notch, and because it's the most profitable mall in North America."
As profitable as Yorkdale may be, it's tough to think that Microsoft will even make a dent in the tablet market that is so handily dominated by Apple's iPad. A strategy that strictly limits the access that people will have to the Microsoft Surface might be crippling the device before it even has a chance to get off the ground.
In a poll of Right Click readers back in June, about one-third of respondents said they would be interested in purchasing the new Microsoft Surface when it makes its debut. That number could drop dramatically if it isn't made more available to all Canadians, and could also be hurt when the price of the device is finally revealed. Current educated guesses, based on Steve Ballmer's expertise, price it somewhere between $300 and $800 USD.