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Surface RT to be sold by non-Microsoft retailers soon

New rumours suggest that Microsoft's Surface tablet will be available to retailers in the near future, according to CNET.

The Surface tablet with Windows RT is currently only available through Microsoft's own website and Microsoft stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

According to Windows Weekly co-host Paul Thurrott, Microsoft will initially roll out the tablet "within days" to retailers in countries where there are no Microsoft stores (including the UK). Thurrott also claims that major US retailers like Best Buy and Staples will receive the Surface RT by January.

Microsoft released its first entry into the tablet market in October alongside its new Windows 8 operating system. The Surface tablet with Windows RT is runs a scaled down version of Windows 8, which has been criticised for not being compatible with existing Windows software.

Microsoft has not revealed any sales figures but CEO Steve Ballmer remarked that sales of the Surface RT were off to a "modest" start. This echoes news reported earlier this month that the software giant has apparently slashed 2012 orders from its Asian manufacturers by half, from four million to two million.

Last week, Microsoft also revealed the US pricing for its Surface Pro tablet, which will run the full version of Windows 8 and is due to be released in January.