Surface tablets begin shipping ahead of Friday launch

Microsoft’s new tablet, the Surface with Windows RT, has started shipping ahead of its impending launch on Friday. The 32GB, £399 version of the tablet has already sold out of pre-orders on the company’s UK site.

The Redmond-based firm's bold foray into tablet hardware saw Surface stocks cleared out within a day in its native US, as well as Canada, France and Germany.

The 64GB version is still available in the UK however, costing £559 coming with a Touch Cover keyboard.

The Windows RT supported tablet does not run third-party applications which has led to some early criticism of the slate's software department. However, the hardware itself has been received warmly. ITProPortal has just published a review of the Surface which can be read here.

Microsoft may announce some new apps at the Windows event to be held in New York on Thursday. It is also expected to showcase tablet offerings from some of Microsoft’s OEM partners.