Tech

Microsoft hits back after Surface products slammed by consumer group

Microsoft hits back after Surface products slammed by consumer group

There were problems with the release of Skylake powered Surface products and Microsoft initially laid the blame fully on Intel; which proved awkward when they conversed with Lenovo about the problems Skylake caused as Lenovo had not had a similar experience. More specifically, Microsoft internally (and to Intel) stated that the chips were buggy and the root of reliability, battery life, and performance problems with its new convertibles.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has won a lot of praise for its Surface line of laptop hybrids, but it looks like at least some of those compliments were misplaced.

Microsoft even reportedly went to Lenovo for help, asking how they were able to design around Skylake reliability issues. They have remained around 6 percent throughout the product's lifetime.

The leaked memo comes just days after Consumer Reports removed its "recommended" badge from all Microsoft laptops and tablets, including the aforementioned Surface Book.

Microsoft corporate vice president Panos Panay has already reiterated that Surface has always improved with each generation.

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Consumer Reports based its decision on the results of an annual subscriber survey about the products such people own and use. If Microsoft has made necessary improvements over the previous year, then the next survey should come out a little different. He continued: "Feedback like this stings, but pushes us to obsess more about our customers". It appears Microsoft's own problems were the result of the company's unique approach to the Surface Book, with custom firmware and drivers.

However, this memo proves that the Consumer Reports findings' has put a dent in the Surface series' armour, and Microsoft is doing everything it can to retain popularity and do damage control. Panay said return rates for 2015's Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are "significantly lower" than 25 percent but stopped short of stating an actual figure.

We take quality seriously, conducting rigorous reliability testing during development to forecast failure and return rates, which are then continually viewed against [real world data] post-launch. "We also regularly review other metrics to understand the experience we are providing to our customers and our findings show our products are in a much healthier place than noted by Consumer Reports".

Microsoft did not respond to a Fortune request for comment on the Thurrott report. He writes, "NPS does not measure reliability, which is what Consumer Reports is estimating".

The Microsoft Surface Phone is expected to be the embodiment of the company's grand mobile vision although rumor has it that it will not turn up until next year or 2019.


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