If you are itching to get your hands on a Microsoft Surface RT tablet, chances are that your itch will remain unscratched for quite some time, as the device is now backordered for three weeks. So your best bet now, should you want it earlier, is to walk into a Microsoft retail outlet on or after October 26 and pick one up yourself (if you can). For those who don’t want to leave anything to chance, Microsoft is giving out special "Surface reservation passes."
Microsoft is currently distributing reservation passes that promise to make available to the bearer one Surface RT tablet on a priority basis. However, they will have to purchase the tablet from the Microsoft store named on the card before 12pm on October 26, 2012. WPCentral was the first to report on these passes, having received a tip by one of its forum members. Microsoft has since issued a statement confirming the existence of a limited number of such reservation passes.
“The reservation card guarantees that if a customer visits a Microsoft retail store or holiday store by 12:00 p.m. on 10/26 they will be able to purchase a Surface,” the company said in its statement. “The customer must present the reservation card at time of purchase on 10/26.”
“Regardless of online availability, beginning Oct. 26, 2012, all three Surface SKUs will be available for purchase at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores.”
First Microsoft sold out of Surface RT pre-orders within 24 hours, and now it’s giving out reservation passes. While on the face of it initial demand for the ARM-based Surface RT seems to be very strong, it could just as well be a classic case of middling demand outstripping limited supply.