Microsoft Surface needs a timeout after another NFL letdown


Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 14.04.37
This was one time Apple's probably glad the Surface wasn't mistakenly called the iPad.
Photo: CBS

After making the mistake of repeatedly referring to the Microsoft Surface as an iPad, announcers finally got the right name for the NFL’s sponsor tablet… only for this to be the occasion on which the device stopped working on live TV.

The incident took place during Sunday’s AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, resulting in the kind of negative publicity Microsoft surely never dreamed its $400 million sponsorship would lead to.

“They’re having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface tablets,” CBS’ sideline reporter Evan Washburn said during the game. “On the last defensive possession the Patriots’ coaches did not have access to those tablets to show pictures to their players. NFL officials have been working at it. Some of those tablets are back in use, but not all of them. A lot of frustration that they didn’t have them on that last possession.”

Microsoft quickly sprung into action to blame the breakdown on a network connectivity issue rather than, well, you know.

“Our team on the field has confirmed the issue was not related to the tablets themselves but rather an issue with the network,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We worked with our partners who manage the network to ensure the issue was resolved quickly.”

Whatever happens with Apple’s reported iPad sales figures this week, at least their devices didn’t just get lambasted on television in front of one of their main target demographics.

Source: CNet

  • Joe_HTH

    LOL! The iPads, which probably can’t even run the program they’re using, wouldn’t hold up at all. They’re fragile little toys.

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      Hey Moe Ron, Microsoft paid the NFL $400 Mil and free equipment to force them to use the SP’s. Apple’s not desperate like Microsoft is, and judging from your ignorant comment, so are you desperate for put downs. Hahahahahahahahhaha.

      The software they are running doesn’t require all that much, it’s not that they can’t run the s/w on an iPad, it’s they got paid $400 Mil to use the Surface Pro.

      • Josh Taylor

        All the Surfaces do is display a picture thats taken from a elevated camera, and then allows them to scribble on it. It saves them from printing them on laser printers and drawing on them with pens in their binders. Extremely basic operations, and pathetic they have issues every game with them.

      • CelestialTerrestrial

        It’s probably Windows 10 that’s the real issue.

      • Jeff

        Actually they are not basic. Playbooks and video footage are delivered securely to Surfaces in game but also to players at home during the week. NFL teams are able to remotely lock any proprietary information if a player is cut or traded. iOS can’t do stuff like that because it’s a Fisher Price level OS.

      • Jeff

        Not really. The NFL tried iPads, but the security on them was so terrible they couldn’t rely on them for playbooks.

        The NFL was also not paid $400M to use the Surface Pro nor does Microsoft GIVE them to NFL teams. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. The $400M deal is for advertising directly and tie ins to the Xbox One. The NFL is not going to use Surface and stick Microsoft logos all over the place for no charge. That’s prime TV time with 20 million or more watching single games and hundreds of millions watching the Super Bowl EVERY YEAR.

    • Fragile little toy that works 100% of the time. #LOL ^

    • DigitalBeach

      Apparently the Surface can’t handle it despite being designed for whatever the fuck it is. so you’ve failed to prove any point you were trying to make.

      • CelestialTerrestrial

        What do you expect from a spiteful Windows user?

    • Jay EmmCee

      Yeah. Sure they are. Elurscam.

    • Jay EmmCee

      Yeah. Sure they are. Microsoft products work best and are safest to use when powered off and/or unplugged. Elurscam.

    • Jimmyz

      Well the iPads could not have been any WORSE !!!
      We KNOW NOW Surface is a fragile little toy that didn’t hold up……

  • Guy Person

    That’s actually really sad tbh considering they finally got the name right (down to the company’s name) at the worst possible moment

  • popweasel

    I sensed a disturbance in the force, like the sound of a million Microsoft fanboys crying out in pain.

  • AJLoca

    Isn’t it funny that when they work, they’re ‘iPads’ but when they’re broken, they’re “Microsoft Surfaces?”

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      I don’t think it was done unconsciously, these sports reporters got a lot of flack over calling them iPads the last time, but it is hysterical that they have a major problem and now they get their much deserving accolades. /s :-)

  • digitaldumdum

    “Microsoft Surface needs a timeout after another NFL letdown”

    What the NFL •needs• is to start using iPads. Problem solved. Ah, but with the molasses-like slowness of NFL change (consider the problem of concussions they’ve been talking about for years but not acting upon), and their deals with Microsoft and Intel, they’re not likely to drop the Surface for a decade, if then.

    • Moe

      How would using the iPad solve the problem when the “secure closed network” becomes unusable?
      Didn’t the NFL use iPads before the Suface Pro’s?

      • Malphius

        What Apple tard’s don’t realize is there’s an entire back end that the NFL owns and maintains that the tablets are reliant on.

  • Nicholas C

    Has it ever occurred to someone that maybe it was a software glitch? Or the wireless network went down? Or the server hosting this all fucked up? Nah lets blame the 3+ surfaces that all just so happened to stop working at the same time.

  • Chris Hardin

    Yeah…Because it’s highly likely that ALL of them stopped working at once…It was a network issue, like Microsoft said. Apple fanbois are pretty stupid, apparently.

  • Malphius

    Just like Apple users to have no idea how technology actually works.

    “Microsoft quickly sprung into action to blame the breakdown on a network connectivity issue rather than, well, you know.”

    lol. Cult of Mac. True to the name.

  • Gregory Lowe

    Disingenuous article. Don’t blame them at all. I’ve seen this before when providing support on scoreboards. Several times the stadium staff damaged data cables going to scoreboards shot clocks. The end devices gets the blame. We put in our contracts that cables were not our responsibility. Because customers would damage them carelessly and never tell us what they did. I’ve bleachers and floors placed on top of them. Had them cut and spliced. Splicing was against our contract . Water in conduit. Mixing data and power in same conduit. Huge TV power cable placed on top of small data cables.
    With WiFi you have More problems with interference . Each team and referees have there own Surface network . The stadium and concessions have there’s, scoreboards and ref whistles are wireless. Wireless Microphones, TV, security, police, fire radios , etc. Can effect the reliability of WiFi . And then there’s the network hardware itself may have technical issues. Could be a power surge or other power issue. If they had iPad, MacBook, android the results would be the same.

    • helpitcrashedagain

      Finally a common sense response…..damn fanboys!!

  • I use windows on desktop/laptop mostly because the software and hardware I use tend to either have limited to zero support on other OS. I do believe, however, that the Microsoft tablets absolutely suck. So if you are getting a tablet, just stick to iOS or Android. Windows tablets just don’t work as well as a good android or apple tablet.

  • Jason N photography

    Really bad journalism and if you consider yourself a tech writer you should know when multiple devices on the same network fail at the same time, the issue is most likely network related. Now I myself own both Surface Pro 2, iPad, iMac and a Windows 20 PC. All excellent devices. When all of them stop responding at the same time (which they do) it is because something is up with my cable modem or my AirPort Extreme Wifi.