Clevelanders Can Reserve a Microsoft Surface By Snagging a Reservation Card at Beachwood Place

If you were hoping to snag a new Microsoft Surface tablet on launch day, Friday, and did not pre-order it online, you're still in luck. All Microsoft stores in the United States are handing out Surface reservation cards in limited quantities, and that includes the not-yet-open pop-up shops, including the one at Beachwood Place in Cleveland.

I stopped in at Beachwood Place this afternoon to scope things out. I parked between Dilliard's and Saks Fifth Avenue because I had already looked up the Microsoft Store's location on the mall's website - it's located in the E zone of the mall near Fannie May Chocolates and the escalators that take you up to the second floor. I really had no interest in going anywhere else in the mall, so that was the closest entrance.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but my eagle-eyed three-year-old was the first to spot the kiosk. I had told him we were looking for the Microsoft stand, and he spotted it before me, no doubt attracted by the bright, colorful Microsoft logo. Sadly, it's only a kiosk and not a full-size store, but it's a start. Perhaps if the kiosk is successful, Microsoft will consider opening up a permanent store in the Cleveland area.

There were a few Microsoft employees at the stand when I stopped by, and it looked like they were conducting some kind of training and were getting things ready for launch day later this week. Half of them were sporting black t-shirts with the slogan "I'm a PC".

As of Tuesday afternoon, there was a stack of reservation cards about one-inch thick. Each card is numbered in the bottom right-hand corner. Consumers are allowed to take up to two reservation cards each. I'm guessing that there are somewhere in the range of 100 total. If you want one, just stop by the kiosk and ask one of the helpful employees. They're only giving out a limited number, so get on down there sooner rather than later.

The reservation card guarantees that you will get a Surface on launch day, but there is a catch: you have to get there by 12pm. If you come later, you'll have to get in line and hope there are some left. I like the idea of the reservation cards because then you're not forced to stand in line like a herd of sheep all day à la Apple product launches. Plus, you're not putting out any money like in a pre-order. When you pick up a reservation card, they do ask which model you're interested in and write it down for tracking purposes, but you're not locked into a decision and can change your mind when you go to pick it up.

We'll be there for the grand opening of the kiosk on Friday, and the launch of the Microsoft Surface tablet, so check back in then for our thoughts on the Surface.