Yes, they are the worst place to look for Windows Tablets. This evening I went to local Best Buy. They have this Windows 8 display table in the entrance, which would have been really good if any of the systems worked properly. They have Samsung ATIV 500T A04US Smart PC. The S-Pen is missing in that and the Windows Live Account has not been setup, so you don’t see anything much interesting there. Next to it on each side you see Asus Vivo RT tablet and Surface RT tablet. Asus RT has been setup and is working. WinTabThe Surface RT, is turned on but not setup. You will not see much there. Next to Surface RT there is HP All-In-One PC, which is turned off.


This table is partitioned into two, the other side is facing the Best Buy Mobile and has Asus Vivo RT, which works, kind off, and Surface RT, which is totally turned off. and HP Touch book, which is frozen to death. I turned on Surface RT. Both Surface RTs (one on the other side and this one) don’t have the standard Allison Brown account setup. IE10 has Google as home page. Stupid. I thought it would take me to either Best Buy or Bing. Didn’t expect Google as home page there. Now I moved to the Best Buy tablets section. iPad Mini and iPad 2, new iPad (they have two there, so I am guessing both 3rd and 4th generations) are on display and next to them are 10s of Android tablets. iPads have their own display table. Samsung have their own display table for Galaxy Tabs, and Players.

The common tablet display has tablets from variety of tablet makers including Asus, Toshiba, Sony, and others. Interestingly both Asus Vivo RT and Surface RT are placed in the same section again. Surface RT is placed next to Asus Transformer Pad and the other side of it was Asus Vivo RT. This display section also has Toshiba, Acer, Sony and others. If the user is looking at prices the Transformers would look cheaper than Surface RT and Vivo RT. And while Transformers on the display are functioning and Windows Tablets are powered off. And even if you turn on, they are not setup. So I called one employee of Best Buy and asked him about them. He had no clue what I was asking for and pointing me to iPad and Galaxy Tab. Pathetic.

Some of the Best Buy employees are very knowledgeable here at this store and they know me. They show me exactly what I am looking for and they don’t hesitate to learn from me. I couldn’t find them today. Any way Best Buy needs more trained staff, who are interested in learning the stuff. That way they could sell more and push Best Buy from becoming another Circuit City. This is not the first Best Buy store I have seen in the neighborhood. Prior to release of Surface RT at Best Buy stores, I went to two more Best Buy stores after the launch of Windows 8 and the situation is similar. Nothing improved or changed.

Note: If Microsoft is reading this, I have something for them. Microsoft, don’t think you are done because you started selling the Surfaces at stores like Best Buy and Staples. You need your trained staff present there. That way you can avoid embarrassment. People like me can’t help other buyers continuously standing there. Because it is not our job. I think, Microsoft, you should depute some of your trained staff/contractors at each Best Buy store like you did when you launched Kinect in 2010 and kept them on rolls for almost a year there. That would encourage the buyers to learn more about Windows RT tablets especially the new Surface RT. 


Did any of the readers encountered similar situation at Best Buy stores? To me, this whole effort Microsoft Windows Tablet promotion by the stores like Best Buy is going half-heartedly.


  1. Same. I went to one last week, and ended up schooling a lady customer looking for a tablet for purchase in Feb. I told her to wait for the Surface Pro…

  2. My local Best Buy doesn’t even have the Surface. I asked them why and they just shrugged their shoulders. Thank goodness I have a Microsoft Store relatively close to me. Microsoft needs to put some pressure on Best Buy.

  3. Haven’t been to my local Best Buy in two weeks, but I was at Sam’s the other day. No W8 tablets on display, but about 10 notebooks/laptops. About half needed a Sam’s login password and the rest had all kinds of crap on the screen. Changed those back to the smart screen.

    I don’t get it. They have a process in these stores for cleaning the restroom once an hour, yet no one is responsible for checking “all” the device displays occasionally. Certainly couldn’t hurt sales. If I can’t “actually” play with a device at a brick and mortar, might as well buy blindly from Amazon. The impulse sale should be Best Buy’s highest priority. I want that, and I want it now.

  4. I went to a Best Buy store yesterday and encounter the same problem. I had to teach a few custumer about it. They did not know that it came with office. OMG please microsoft send some people to best buy ASAP

  5. Same experience here at my local Best Buy. I went to the tablet section of the store to look for it but it wasn’t back there. Finally after explaining to 2 associates there what I was looking for a member from Geek Squad chimed in and said it was by the cell phones (weird placement). No one was manning the display and although I got to see it in person and got some hands on, no one there could answer any of my questions. Thinking of taking a road trip to the closest Microsoft store (which is 3 hours away) when the Pro comes out so I can have some questions answered by a hopefully knowledgable staff. iPads suck but at least I have no trouble finding help when I need it when I’m at the store.

  6. Ugh. These Best Buy stories are so depressing. Microsoft has to get some reps into these stores asap. This retail launch was rushed but there really is no excuse for things to be this bad.

  7. I remember the same horror stories during the HD DVD vs Blu Ray wars, and it was misinformation, outright lies or shoddy/non working displays. Pretty stupid decision to stock the Surface in Best Buy, the sooner that chain dies the better. Looking at Comet in the UK, its only a matter of time before all B&M electronic stores disappear and in Best Buy’s case especially, it cant come soon enough.

  8. Why does ANYONE even visit Best Buy?
    Research online.
    Buy online.
    And, when I buy online, no one ever asks to see my receipt when I exit the store.

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