Microsoft has announced that its Surface tablets will be available from more retailers within the next few days. Customers in the US and Australia will be able to buy Surfaces from non-Microsoft outlets from mid-December, with extended availability in other countries coming in the next few months.

To meet demand for the devices, the company has also announced that it has ordered its manufacturing partners to increase production and build more units, contradicting reports last month that it had scaled back orders.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in November that the company planned to expand Surface’s availability. These plans have been brought forward, with Steve Schueler, corporate vice president, Microsoft Retail Sales and Marketing, saying, “Our plan has been to expand the retail presence for Surface after the first of the year. Based on interest from retailers, we are giving them the option to carry Surface with Windows RT even earlier.”

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab