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Microsoft Surface with Windows RT to hit UK high street stores before Christmas

Microsoft’s new Surface tablet is set to become readily available just in time for Christmas, as John Lewis becomes the first UK high street store to stock the device this Friday.

Up until now the device has been available solely from Microsoft itself through the online store, so if you had hopes of popping in to your local Currys to pick one up and have a play then it’d be a wasted trip. Thankfully Microsoft is getting it out on the streets, most probably at just the right time, as rivals like the iPad and Google Nexus 7 look to be top of everyone’s wish lists.

John Lewis is the first UK retailer to come out and confirm it will be stocking the device, which runs Windows RT; a slimmed-down version of Windows 8 designed specifically for tablets that use an ARM processor.

“Always first with the latest technology, John Lewis is delighted to announce that it will be the first high street retailer in the UK to offer the Microsoft Surface from the 14 December 2012 and with a two-year guarantee included at no extra cost,” the retailer told UK tech site Pocket-Lint.

The model going on sale will be the more basic, and cheaper, Surface with Windows RT. We recently learned that the more powerful Surface with full-blown Windows 8 would also be launching soon, although that’s still yet to be available, even from Microsoft itself.

John Lewis says it has seen “phenomenal” demand for Windows 8 devices, specifically touchscreen ones. No doubt this has led to the company becoming the first in the UK to offer the Surface, which is the touchscreen device that Microsoft wants to have demonstrate its new software.

Both the 32GB and 64GB versions will be available, as will the keyboard covers. The 32GB model with the Touch Keyboard cover will be available for £479, while the 64GB version with Touch Keyboard cover will set you back £559; both with a bonus 2 year warranty courtesy of John Lewis. It’ll be on their website from December 14th (that’s tomorrow!) and in stores over the weekend (December 15/16).

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