Some Microsoft stores are passing out reservation cards to customers committed to buying a Surface RT tablet when the devices hit store shelves next Friday.

The stores are handing out reservation cards to buyers who know, for sure, that they will be buying the tablets.

Card holders will be in a separate line for the tablets, but only have until noon to claim their Surface.

There are only around two dozen Microsoft stores across the country but the company has two locations in the DMV: one at Tysons Corner Center and one at The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Quick calls to those locations Friday morning found that Tysons Corner is handing out the cards. Employees at Pentagon City, meanwhile, have been told that it’s “business as usual” on Friday, though the store plans to have plenty of stock on hand. And, of course, you can always reserve the tablet online — if you act quickly.

The cheapest version of the Surface RT tablet has already sold out on the Microsoft Web site. Shipping estimates online now promise the $499 tablet will show up “within 3 weeks,” not the Oct. 26 launch date.

The Surface with Windows RT tablet starts at $499, which will get users a 32 GB device without a keyboard cover. For $599, Microsoft will throw in a black keyboard cover, which costs $119.99 to buy separately. For $699, consumers get a memory boost to 64 GB and a black cover.

The RT tablets run a lighter version of Windows that is supposed to run a bit more quickly, but lacks full Windows features such as Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center.

Microsoft has yet to announce the prices for the Surface with Windows Pro, which runs the full version of its new operating system, Windows 8. The new OS will also be on sale starting next Friday.

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