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Microsoft kicks off sales of Surface Book, Surface Pro 4

The Surface Pro 4 may be readily available, but grabbing the Surface Book at your local brick-and-mortar store or online retailer will prove more problematic.

Microsoft's Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 are officially on sale, but the Surface Book is playing hard to get.

Microsoft

Microsoft has officially launched its new Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 lineup.

Available for preorder since October 7, the Surface Pro 4 is now on sale at Microsoft's website and retail outlets. The tablet is also up for grabs at Best Buy, Amazon, Staples and Target. The Surface Book is available through Microsoft, though at this point, it's still listed as a preorder item.

The Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 represent Microsoft's latest attempt to drum up interest in its Windows 10 software. By creating its own devices, the Redmond, Washington, company is trying to show manufacturing partners how to build Windows 10 devices that appeal to consumers.

The Surface Pro 4 is Microsoft's newest iteration of a tablet that turns into a laptop via an attachable keyboard. The new Surface Pro aims to build on the success of the Surface Pro 3 with a slightly larger screen, higher resolution, slimmer body and a more user-friendly keyboard.

Microsoft's first homegrown laptop, the Surface Book can turn into a tablet via a detachable keyboard. The Surface Book comes with a 13.5-inch display and offers as much as 16 gigabytes of memory and 1 terabyte of onboard storage. Panos Panay, Microsoft's head of devices, called it the " thinnest, most powerful PC ever created."

Finding the devices or at least getting them quickly is the challenge consumers now face. The Surface Pro 4 should be available at retailers, but the Surface Book is in short supply following strong preorder demand.

At Microsoft's site, three of the Surface Pro 4 models are available immediately, but two others won't ship until November 20. Best Buy lists most models as available but a couple as "coming soon." Staples has several models in stock, both online and at its retail stores.

The Surface Book is playing hard to get. Preorders at Microsoft's site show a wait time of four to five weeks or six to seven weeks. Best Buy displayed only one model, the Intel Core i7 edition with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage, as being in stock at certain stores.

A Microsoft spokesman said the company has limited Surface Book supply available in each store and plans to deliver new units nearly daily to stores after October 26.

Update, 10:30 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Microsoft.