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Microsoft Surface tablets blamed after NFL breakdown

by Killian Bell | January 25, 2016January 25, 2016 5:12 am PDT


Microsoft’s Surface tablets have received yet more flack for being unreliable on the NFL sidelines. A breakdown during the playoff game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots on Sunday caused great problems for both teams.

It’s not exactly clear what happened to the tablets during the game, but they certainly weren’t doing what they were supposed to. “They’re having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface tablets,” confirmed CBS reporter Evan Washburn.

“That 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.”

Reporter Sean Jensen, who tweeted the image above, added, “Second time this season I’ve personally heard the @Microsoft tablet getting crushed during an #NFL game.”

Microsoft paid the NFL around $400 million in 2013 to gain exclusive branding rights to the tablets used during games, which are used to view replays, plan plays, and more. But the deal may not have given the Surface the image Microsoft was hoping for.

Not only do commentators still refer to the device as an “iPad,” but it is often criticized for being unreliable. Many videos, like the one below, have circulated on social media, showing how frustrated some players get when Microsoft’s device lets them down.

Microsoft has blamed network issues for Sunday’s breakdown, which ended 18-20 to the Broncos.

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...