Microsoft's 32GB Surface tablet sells out in the UK

UK fans of Microsoft's forthcoming Surface tablet may be ruing their luck after the 32GB version without Touch Cover sold out in pre-orders.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

One version of Microsoft's new Surface tablet has sold out in the UK, despite only being available for pre-order for less than a week.

The 32GB version of the Surface tablet without a Touch Cover — a type of keyboard/case — is currently listed as "Temporarily sold out" on Microsoft's UK online store. It's not known how many units Microsoft had available to order in the UK, or when the 32GB version without a cover will be back in stock. The tablet became available for pre-order on 16 October.

Surface tablet
The 32GB version of Microsoft's Surface without cover has sold out in the UK, having been on pre-order for less than a week.

The 32GB model without cover is the cheapest version of Surface, retailing at £399. The same version of the tablet sold with the Touch Cover comes in at £479, while the 64GB version with Touch Cover is priced at £559.

The US version of Microsoft's online shop still has stock available (as do the French and German stores), however. The wait for the basic version of the Surface is listed as three weeks, compared with one to two weeks for versions with a keyboard.

The inclusion of a keyboard with two of the three Surface bundles has sparked a debate about the viability of tablets for some types of users. Whether the keyboard-free version of Surface is selling out first simply because it is the cheapest, or because buyers aren't interested in the Touch Cover, remains to be seen.

The tablet officially goes on sale on Friday and — along with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 — is part of a series of launches from Microsoft aimed at refreshing its desktop and mobile offerings, in order to defend its territory against rivals such as Apple and Google.

Microsoft told ZDNet it would not comment on the story.

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