Microsoft has given a strong indication that its new Surface tablet will soon be given an in-store retail distribution in the UK, following a recent decision to offer the device for sale at Best Buy and Staples outlets in the U.S.

Prior to the move to extend its retail distribution activity in the U.S., the Surface tablet had been available only through Microsoft’s own official network of outlets – which, in the UK, has effectively restricted sales to online transactions.

The speculation regarding the possibility of in-store sales in the UK stems from an official Microsoft communication which states:

“Surface will continue to be available for purchase at all Microsoft retail stores in the United States and Canada and online in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Based on the success of the Microsoft holiday stores, the company will extend all of these locations into the New Year. These stores will transition into either permanent brick-and-mortar retail outlets or specialty store locations.”

In the meantime, Microsoft says that it also plans to introduce to the market a new, more expensive version of the Surface, powered by Intel processing chips rather than ARM processors.

Called Surface Pro, this enhanced version of the Surface tablet is expected to give users easy access to a wide range of apps.

Commentators say this should prove popular given that many apps for the standard Surface require a convoluted reconfiguring and submission to a Windows App Store before they can be used.