Rumors are gathering pace that Microsoft is currently testing its second generation Surface lineup of tablets. But at the same time, the company is busy expanding the retail availability of the current Surface units.

Add the promotional prices and discount campaigns, and you get an idea just how expansive the whole Surface ordeal is. Almost a year into release, the market availability (particularly international) of the company’s tablets leaves a lot to be desired.

However, Microsoft recently announce that nine more stores in the UK will be getting both the Surface RT and the Pro, while at the same time promising that more retailers will be announced very soon.

But at the same time, the technology titan had some recommendations for suppliers and partners that are still waiting to get the Surface — do not wait for its tablet, as there are plenty of other Windows 8 tablets on the market.

Peter King, Microsoft UK’s director for devices in small and medium enterprises, taking to CRN said in a short statement that:

“The best advice I can give to partners who weren’t successful with Surface is that there are more than 2,500 Windows 8 devices in the market today. The best way to be in with the best chance when – and if – we do decide to broaden the channel is: if you don’t have one today, build a devices business on some of the amazing OEM Windows 8 tablets.

Don’t wait for Surface to be available, we’ll make the right announcement at the right time and you’ll be in the best place possible if you’ve built a device business on what’s available today.”

Unsurprising words, keeping in mind the fact that Microsoft also has to cater and keep its various hardware partners in mind. And while the Surface RT is a very capable device, there are also some other competent Windows powered tablets from other hardware vendors.

And while Microsoft is pretty much certain to be working on the second generation Surface tablets, the same can be said for other partner OEMs — many of which are readying their very own Windows 8.1 slates that are set for release in the coming months.

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  • Ray C

    I don’t think they have to be in a rush to get Surface 2 out. They just need to sell tablets. It doesn’t matter Surface or Surface 2. They just need as many out there being used as possible, even if they have to do one more small price cut. I think someone from one of the other OEMs or maybe Google commented about the Microsoft-Nokia buyout. They said that people like to stick with a product they like or similar products. If they like a companies phone, they’re going to want the next version of that phone or that companies tablet or PC. That was the basics of what he said. That is what people fail to understand when they say Microsoft should drop one product or the other. Every product that Microsoft sales is a potential purchase of the next generation or one of it’s other types of devices. They might lose some customers, but at some point there is a large number of PC customers who are going to have to switch to Windows 8 because they’re job or possibly their school is going to switch some of it’s systems to it. Plus, they’ll need to replace a computer and just can’t make the leap, for whatever reason, to a phone or tablet only lifestyle. They’re going to want a consistent experience between home, school, and work. The more they get used to Windows 8.x, the more likely they’ll be to want or at least try a Windows-based mobile device.