Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi, the Corporate Vice President of the companies Windows and Devices Group, took to the official Microsoft Devices Blog to discuss the Surface related events that occurred this past weekend during the AFC Championship which pitted the New England Patriots against the Denver Broncos.
The reported failure of the Surface Tablets, devices built specifically for NFL teams to review aspects of the game, was actually cleared of fault shortly after it was reported from the sidelines of the game.
However, that did not stop the original report from circulating across multiple tech blogs with headlines that screamed Surface Failed.
There has been a very interesting discussion happening with our article about this incident, Sorry but Microsoft's Surface did not fail during the AFC Championship game, with several comments focusing on the perception of the failure whether it was the fault of the tablet or not. Many stated that Surface is the name on the outside of those blue devices and that perception is reality.
It is likely for that reason that Mehdi proactively took to the Windows Devices Blog to talk about the $400 million dollar deal with the NFL and share exactly how reliable the devices have been on the sidelines.
The most impressive stat he shared was that the Surface Tablet has not failed once on the sidelines over the last two seasons since the partnership began. That includes over 100,000 minutes (1,666 hours) of use along the sidelines in NFL games.
He also referred to the two incidents used by some tech blogs in reporting supposed frustration with the tablets by players in the past but those events had nothing to do with the tablets performance but the players.
Of course I am talking the Johnny Manziel head butting incident after an interception and Aaron Rodgers giving the tablet a toss after realizing he missed a wide open receiver for a TD. Both very valid reasons to be frustrated.
The hardware has also gained a lot of credibility with players, coaches and team staff as well:
"We continue to hear from players and coaches that our tablets are changing the way they operate, on and off the field. Surface tablets have become ubiquitous on NFL sidelines and in the coaches’ booth, and more than half of NFL franchises are also using Surfaces end-to-end, as playbooks, to watch video and as a laptop replacement in their front office to handle the administrative duties of running the team."
Finally, just to make sure the point was very clear, he included a link to an official statement from the NFL that confirmed it was a network issue that cause the problems during the AFC Championship.