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Microsoft responds to Consumer Reports' Surface issues

Jonathan Easton
Microsoft responds to Consumer Reports' Surface issues

Microsoft has rubbished claims that its Surface devices are susceptible to breaking after two years.

Yesterday, a surprise report was published by Consumer Reports, with the non-profit consumer awareness site removing its 'recommended' tag from four of Microsoft's laptops, "citing poor predicted reliability in comparison with most other brands".

According to the site, roughly 25 per cent of Surface owners have encounted issues after owning a device for two years. This damning claim applies to "Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards, such as the new Surface Pro released in June and the Surface Book, as well as the company’s Surface Laptops with conventional clamshell designs".

In response, Microsoft has published a blog post saying that it respectfully disagrees with the findings.  

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"While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings," writes Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft Devices. "Surface has had quite a journey over the last few years, and we’ve learned a lot. In the Surface team we track quality constantly, using metrics that include failure and return rates – both our predicted 1-2-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25 per cent.

"Additionally, we track other indicators of quality such as incidents per unit (IPU), which have improved from generation to generation and are now at record lows of well below 1 per cent."

While Consumer Reports has based this 90,000 tablet and laptop owners who purchased their devices between 2014 and 2017, the site hasn't disclosed what devices were surveyed. It is likely that a large amount of the respondents were owners of devices like the Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 that were on sale between 2014 and 2017. Still, the evidence is obviously compelling enough for the latest range of devices – including the new Surface Laptop – to also have their recommended status taken away.

Tags: Microsoft, Vendors, consumer reports, Surface pro, Surface, Surface Book

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