An anonymous reader writes "Nearly a year after all the fanfare unveiling a new touchscreen tabletop interface, Microsoft's Surface computer will finally appear in select AT&T stores later this month. Popular Mechanics tech editor Glenn Derene, who first introduced us to Surface in May, seems to have done a complete 180 in this rant, blasting Microsoft for being more obsessed with Surface's novelty as a magnet for image-conscious partners while messing up a rare hardware device — and, surprisingly, the simple software he was told came with it. From Microsoft's official excuse in the article: 'It's actually been a good thing for us,' Pete Thompson, Microsoft's general manager for Surface, told me. 'We were anticipating that the initial deployments were going to be showcase pilots using our own software applications on units to drive traffic. What our partners have decided is that they want to skip that stage and go to an integrated experience where they build their own applications. That's pulled the timeline until this spring.'"