Microsoft has signed up more outlets to carry its Surface Pro and Surface RT tablet devices in the UK, as expectation builds that the firm will announce new models when Windows 8.1 is delivered in October.
The Surface devices have until now been available in the UK through select retailers such as John Lewis and Dixons, as well as Microsoft's own online Surface store, but the firm has now added nine further authorised resellers to the Microsoft Devices Programme.
These outlets are: Computacenter UK, Insight UK, Misco, Kelway, Phoenix Software, CCS Media, SCC UK, Softcat and SoftwareONE UK.
Microsoft said it is also working to authorise additional partners in the UK and other markets over the next few months.
Microsoft UK's Peter King said that the addition of these resellers greatly expands the reach of the firm's Devices and Services strategy.
"We look forward to working closely with these partners to better serve their commercial customers. As we move quickly into future phases of this programme, we will activate more partners in more markets to sell Surface devices," he added.
However, the news follows the earlier disclosure from Microsoft that it has so far made heavy losses on its Surface tablets, having to write off $900m on over-production of Surface RT tablets alone.
Meanwhile, expectation is growing that improved Surface devices will be announced to complement the Windows 8.1 update of Microsoft's operating system, which will be available to download from 12pm on October 17 UK time.
Announcing the rollout of the update, Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc said Windows 8.1 will also be available "on new devices", which has been read by some as a substantial hint that new Surface models will launch at the same time.
In June, many newswires reported rumours that Microsoft was internally testing a new Surface RT model based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, while it is widely believed that an improved "Surface Pro 2" is also in the pipeline.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.