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Microsoft Surface RT goes on sale at John Lewis today

The Microsoft Surface tablet with Windows RT will go on sale in John Lewis today, the retailer has confirmed.

Since its release six weeks ago, the Surface tablet has been sold exclusively through Microsoft's own website and in Microsoft stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. Earlier this week, tech insiders reported rumours that Microsoft was thinking of expanding its sales channels outside the current website and US stores, though there was no mention of the UK.

Speaking to Pocket-lint, John Lewis confirmed it will be the first high street chain in the UK to stock the Surface RT, which runs on a scaled-down version of Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system. It will go on sale today online and in-store, starting from £399.

"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," said John Lewis.

The department store is predicting high sales of the device, saying "demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touch screen models leading the way."

Microsoft is expected to roll out the Surface RT tablet to major US retailers like Best Buy and Staples by January.

Last week, Microsoft also revealed the US pricing for its Surface Pro tablet, which will run the full version of Windows 8. It is due to be released in January and will retail from $899 (£560).