Microsoft Surface 2 rises a little early, albeit briefly, at Argos

Getting ahead of the iPad announcement?

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High street retailer Argos made a few headlines this week by launching its own budget Android tablet, and now it has made a few more by briefly making the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet available early.

Ignoring the official October 22 release date, the catalogue store put the second-gen Windows RT slate on sale on its website, allowing would-be buyers to pick them up in store.

The Verge brings word from one reader who did exactly that from his local store on Saturday morning.

However, the listing has now been removed from the website, probably after the company realised its mistake, or perhaps after a rollicking from Microsoft.

Apple's cavalry on the way

The 32GB iteration of the device was the only version listed, while the accessories for the device were also missing. There was also now sign of the Windows 8-packing Surface Pro 2 either.

Despite smashing the sales embargo, it may have been beneficial for both Microsoft and Argos to keep the device on sale, given Apple will be more-than-likely be launching some new iPads on October 22.

Microsoft will be desperate for this much improved iteration of the device to perform better than its predecessor, which flopped largely due to Windows RT's stuttering start.

The company reportedly took a $900m hit on the first Surface RT device and will be relying on the sequel to rescue the ARM-based version of its re-imagined OS from complete failure.