Microsoft is reportedly letting consumers pre-order Surface RT tablets for in-store pickup on launch day. The news comes from WPCentral, where a forum member successfully pre-ordered a tablet from a Microsoft pop-up shop in Oregon. He received a 'Surface reservation pass' for his troubles, inviting him to return to the same store before 12pm on October 26th when his Surface tablet will be waiting for him.
It's not immediately clear if the Surface pre-order program is available everywhere, but WPCentral reports that the pop-up shop had an employee answering Surface-related questions and handing out reservation passes to customers. With the $499.99 32GB Surface currently sold-out online, this could be the only way for many people to get their hands on an entry-level model. We've reached out to Microsoft to clarify the availability of in-store pre-orders.
Update: Microsoft has informed us that a "limited number of reservation cards" are indeed being handed out, which will give you the right to purchase a Surface in-store on October 26th. Full statement below.
"Surface pre-order is only available online, you can visit www.Surface.com or www.MicrosoftStore.com to process your pre-order request. Online availability adjusts based on orders and inventory.
There are a limited number of reservation cards being handed out in local Microsoft retail store and holiday store markets. The reservation card guarantees that if a customer visits a Microsoft retail store or holiday store by 12:00 p.m. on 10/26 they will be able to purchase a Surface. The customer must present the reservation card at time of purchase on 10/26.
Regardless of online availability, beginning Oct. 26, 2012, all three Surface SKUs will be available for purchase at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores."