Microsoft Surface, Redmond’s soon-to-be-released iPad competitor, is set for a huge debut, with 3 million units being built for 2012 alone, according to one source. That’s ambitious, seeing as the slate is expected to land at the end of October, alongside Windows 8.

The news comes from IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell, who claimed in an interview with CNET that as well as building ARM and Intel models, Microsoft was plotting to sell Surface through normal online and high street stores, as well as its own internet emporium.

CNET said, “You can’t build that many products without having a much wider distribution strategy. They just haven’t shared that [strategy] yet.”

Discussing rumours that Microsoft Surface could cost as little as £130, O’Donnell said it was more likely this entry-level price point would be as part of a wider subscription or contract, with the cost of the tablet outright likely to be around £380, in line with the entry-level new iPad.