While the Microsoft Surface is doing very well so far, one of the things that is holding it back is its somewhat limited exposure. Sure, you can try it out at Microsoft stores and special kiosks, but what if you live nowhere near one of these locations? You have to buy it online, where you don’t have a chance to try one out before making the plunge. For those in the United States, there might be another option: heading over to Verizon.
Apparently a Wpcentral.com forum member started the rumor when he supposedly caught glimpse of a Surface being set up at a Verizon store. With that in mind, take this all with a grain of salt. The strange thing about this idea is that the Microsoft Surface RT DOES NOT have 3G/4G support. Why would a cellular store be selling the Surface RT since it is a Wi-Fi only device?
That’s not to say this isn’t true. There are two explanations. First, Microsoft secretly is preparing for a 3G/4G version. Second, they have come up with a sales arrangement and thought that Verizon would give them the widest exposure. According to the Verizon store employee speaking to the forum poster that first reported this, it is believed that the version at Verizon isn’t anything different, it is still Wi-Fi only.
Personally, a store like Radio Shack would have made more sense than Verizon, but maybe that’s just me. We’ve also heard rumors recently that Best Buy would likely start selling the Surface RT in January of 2013. Is Microsoft gearing up for a wider launch? That wouldn’t surprise me, but I still find it at least a little odd that Verizon is going to sell a tablet that doesn’t even support its cellular network.
One thought, though. The Surface RT has USB. Perhaps Verizon and Microsoft are partnering to make a Verizon USB mobile broadband stick fully compatible with the Surface RT? Maybe under this model Verizon would sell you the stick on contract and as a reward would give you a reduced “discount” on the Surface RT? That’s an idea that actually makes a fair amount of sense, though it is pure speculation on my part.
What do you think? Would you buy a Surface RT from Verizon, especially if they had some deal to bring USB-based mobile broadband support over to the tablet?