Microsoft Surface blamed for NFL football playoffs meltdown

Posted:
in iPad
Microsoft Surface Pro tablets stopped working on the sidelines of a major U.S. football game today, causing a spectacular black eye for the struggling product just as its maker was performing an advertising blitz for the hybrid tablet device integrated into the game itself.


Source: Sean Jensen


"They're having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface tablets," announced 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."



On Twitter, reporter Sean Jensen posted the above image, stating "Second time this season I've personally heard the @Microsoft tablet getting crushed during an #NFL game."

The National Football League playoff game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots determined the winner of the American Football Conference to be sent to the Super Bowl.

Microsoft had been relentlessly advertising Surface tablets during the game, and ensured that the device was visible by packaging them in bright blue covers emblazoned with Microsoft Surface branding.

Despite having paid the NFL at least $400 million back in 2013 for exclusive branding rights to the mobile computers used on the sidelines to enable teams to review plays, game commentators have continued to refer to the devices as "iPads."

Microsoft's increasingly strident efforts clarify that its product is not just a generic "iPad" backfired when the Surface-based system failed for the Patriots, frustrating the team and creating a problem that became central to the game's story.

Microsoft was quick to blame network issues, although only the Patriot's side experienced issues with them during the game. The Patriots ultimately lost to the Broncos by a narrow margin of 18-20.

"Those tablets always malfunction"



This isn't the first time that Microsoft's heavy-handed sponsorship deal to thrust Surface into the public consciousness via televised football games has generated less than ideal publicity. A series of viral videos on Twitter depict players throwing or banging the device in frustration.

UPDATE: #Patriots Tablets are working again after Johnny demonstrates the correct way to fix them. https://t.co/bK9XGbuRcg

— Sports Nation Ohio (@SN_Ohio)


"Those tablets always malfunction" tweeted Geoff Schwartz of the New York Giants.



Surface has been an embarrassing commercial failure for Microsoft, even before considering the company's dubious marking efforts or its questionable value.
sockrolidericthehalfbeeargonautmacky the macky
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 218
    While I can understand bashing the competition... unfortunately, this issue can't be blamed on the Microsoft Surface (or Microsoft at all). As has been reported on (and confirmed by) the NFL before, the issue has nothing to do with the Surface. Rather, it's the NFL's servers and application that went down (hence why it goes down across multiple teams at the same time). The tablet runs an application that connects to NFL servers and pulls in data including pictures, replay information, etc. It is that system that has been going down recently. To be honest, while Microsoft has paid a large sum of money for their tablets to be shown and used, the entire process is technically platform agnostic. They can run the application on anything. Unfortunately, it wouldn't matter which tablet they chose in these cases... if their servers are down, then there is nothing that can be done.
    rhinotuffpotatoleeksouplord amhranrAI16cnocbuixbitcogitodexter6Sgoldfishclemynxtbolt
  • Reply 2 of 218
    metrixmetrix Posts: 245member
    The whole thing seems like a failure when coaches and players are just staring at screens for a promoted shot with almost no interaction with the tablet
    sockrolidronn
  • Reply 3 of 218
    "Struggling product" Who wrote this? Surface products are selling like hotcakes. Your example of how Surface failed was Surface RT. Yes, RT was an objective failure, however the x86 implementations of Surface have been resounding commercial successes. The fact that you use this as an example shows that you are either hideously biased, or don't know what you're writing about. Plus you're going to quote NFL players and coaches on technology issues? What do they know? If it's a network or server issue the same thing would happen with any device. If you're not going to be objective or knowledgeable, don't be a journalist.
    edited January 2016 tezgnotechloverrAI16cnocbuilarryathepixeldocfreshmaker
  • Reply 4 of 218
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    "Those tablets always malfunction" tweeted Geoff Schwartz of the New York Giants.
    I'm pretty sure Aaron Rodgers isn't saying "Darn Blue Screen of Death (tm)" as he slams his Surface to the turf.
    Any lip readers out there?
    Lulz.
    edited January 2016 tezgnorhinotuffmchumm3rjetpilotargonautthepixeldoc
  • Reply 5 of 218
    sockrolid said:
    "Those tablets always malfunction" tweeted Geoff Schwartz of the New York Giants.
    I'm pretty sure Aaron Rodgers isn't saying "Darn Blue Screen of Death (tm)" as he slams his Surface to the turf.
    Any lip readers out there?
    Lulz.
    Lol, Aaron threw the tablet in frustration after reviewing his interception that he threw. That was a case of the tablet worked, it showed him the play and the mistake, and he didn't like the outcome. image And, going a step further, Johnny Manziel isn't banging his head against the surface because it wasn't working either. Rather, he did that in frustration after he reviewed a play (one of the ones he did in college) and saw where he messed it up. Again, it was working. I agree with Badstroller that this article is a bit biased. Considering that the link posted on how the Surface RT is a failure, which it was (also written by the same author), and using that to talk about all Surface tablets (when in fact the Surface Pro 3, which is x86-based, made over a billion in revenue for Microsoft), it definitely shows that the author doesn't like or appreciate the Surface and is using anything to bash the product, whether correctly or incorrectly.
    edited January 2016 rhinotuffclemynxtechlovernetmagelarryathepixeldoc
  • Reply 6 of 218
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,016member
    Dude gets paid by the word. I agree it's not a good look for MS but it's difficult to split out the problem when the surface device is the only thing that anyone sees in the solution. 

    Can't say I'm surprised the guy quotes himself to support his assertions. 

    edited January 2016 rhinotuffrAI16techloverthepixeldoc
  • Reply 7 of 218
    djsherly said:
    Dude gets paid by the word. I agree it's not a good look for MS but it's difficult to split out the problem when the surface device is the only thing that anyone sees in the solution. 


    Definitely agree here. But, as a journalist myself, this is why there is a need for good investigative reporting. The article makes one think that the problem is with the surface itself when the NFL has stated that the problem has been their own application and servers. Even though this is an Apple Blog, it isn't necessarily fair to bash someone that isn't the problem. Now, if the surfaces were crashing, locking up, or otherwise causing issues, then by all means go for it. But, in this case, the issue isn't related to the surface product. If they were using iPads and the servers went down, then it would be the same issue.
    rhinotuffrAI16techlovernetmagethepixeldoc
  • Reply 8 of 218
    The 6 surface owners clearly showed up on this site to come to their defense. Selling like hotcakes?!
    mchumm3rawilliams87calimwhitebrakkenanton zuykovlatifbpwilliamlondonMacPromejsric
  • Reply 9 of 218
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,070member
    So, they are calling them iPads when they work, and MS Surface when they don't? That's marketing all money can't buy :-)
    calianton zuykovradarthekatlatifbpwilliamlondonflashfan207MacPromejsricredgeminipapmz
  • Reply 10 of 218
    tezgno said:
    While I can understand bashing the competition... unfortunately, this issue can't be blamed on the Microsoft Surface (or Microsoft at all). As has been reported on (and confirmed by) the NFL before, the issue has nothing to do with the Surface. Rather, it's the NFL's servers and application that went down (hence why it goes down across multiple teams at the same time). The tablet runs an application that connects to NFL servers and pulls in data including pictures, replay information, etc. It is that system that has been going down recently. To be honest, while Microsoft has paid a large sum of money for their tablets to be shown and used, the entire process is technically platform agnostic. They can run the application on anything. Unfortunately, it wouldn't matter which tablet they chose in these cases... if their servers are down, then there is nothing that can be done.

    Have you seen ANY of the Surface NFL ads? I don't recall EVER seeing any mention of servers or backend systems. The Surface tablet is front & centre in all of them. Nobody cares about where the problem is - they only remember seeing those tablets in the bright blue cases.


    ON another note.....

    Looks like two POS loser trolls ALREADY signed up with new accounts. Any predictions how many more will show up shilling for MS?
    tezgnomchumm3rcalironnmwhiteanton zuykovwilliamlondonMacProdamonfredgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 218
    The WiFi on my iPad fails about once a week or so and needs to be restarted. Which means rebooting the iPad. Toggling WiFi in settings does not work. Everything else I own on the WiFi network chugs right along.

    Shit happens.
    paulmjohnson
  • Reply 12 of 218
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 191member
    For all the MS lovers, dudes, you guys are missing the ultimate point in all of this: Microsoft hasn't made a single cent off one of these things. Ever. They are more in the red with these things than the elevator scene in the "The Shining." Okay, it's the NFL servers, not the tablets themselves. Great. If I'm an MSFT investor, I could give a rat's ass. It's a MONEY PIT. NO PROFIT. As Trump would say, "They're LOOOOOZERS."
    mchumm3rjakebcalimwhitewilliamlondonmejsricpmzboriscletoargonautawilliams87
  • Reply 13 of 218
    tezgno said:
    While I can understand bashing the competition... unfortunately, this issue can't be blamed on the Microsoft Surface (or Microsoft at all). As has been reported on (and confirmed by) the NFL before, the issue has nothing to do with the Surface. Rather, it's the NFL's servers and application that went down (hence why it goes down across multiple teams at the same time). The tablet runs an application that connects to NFL servers and pulls in data including pictures, replay information, etc. It is that system that has been going down recently. To be honest, while Microsoft has paid a large sum of money for their tablets to be shown and used, the entire process is technically platform agnostic. They can run the application on anything. Unfortunately, it wouldn't matter which tablet they chose in these cases... if their servers are down, then there is nothing that can be done.

    Have you seen ANY of the Surface NFL ads? I don't recall EVER seeing any mention of servers or backend systems. The Surface tablet is front & centre in all of them. Nobody cares about where the problem is - they only remember seeing those tablets in the bright blue cases.


    ON another note.....

    Looks like two POS loser trolls ALREADY signed up with new accounts. Any predictions how many more will show up shilling for MS?
    I have, actually. And, you're right. The ads definitely highly the Surface and you are correct in that the Surface will be what people see. That's also why I stated that the article should point out where the problem is, if you are going to report on the problem at all. It isn't about one product being better than the other. Rather, it's about honing ones craft at being a good journalist, which is what my statement is actually targeting. If someone can pick apart your article, you loose credibility. And that is what I'm ultimately stating.

    Now, as for your other note, my prediction can be summed up in the image that I'll just leave right here :smile: 


    edited January 2016 freshmaker
  • Reply 14 of 218
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    tezgno said:
    While I can understand bashing the competition... unfortunately, this issue can't be blamed on the Microsoft Surface (or Microsoft at all). As has been reported on (and confirmed by) the NFL before, the issue has nothing to do with the Surface. Rather, it's the NFL's servers and application that went down (hence why it goes down across multiple teams at the same time). The tablet runs an application that connects to NFL servers and pulls in data including pictures, replay information, etc. It is that system that has been going down recently. To be honest, while Microsoft has paid a large sum of money for their tablets to be shown and used, the entire process is technically platform agnostic. They can run the application on anything. Unfortunately, it wouldn't matter which tablet they chose in these cases... if their servers are down, then there is nothing that can be done.
    Aww gee golly gosh! I wonder what operating system is running those backend servers?
    calibirkomwhiteanton zuykovradarthekatflashfan207anantksundarampmzboriscletoargonaut
  • Reply 15 of 218
    danvmdanvm Posts: 725member
    sog35 said:
    THIS site is the leader of why the Apple brand and its customers have fallen into the awful label of butthurt smug ignorants.

    I cant think of another site, even android dedicated sites, that go out of their way so much to bash obviously successful competition.

    The butthurt is strong and obvious. 

    Surface is not a sucess you troll.  When you have to pay a league tens of millions of dollars to use your product you are anything but a sucess.

    If you cant handle the competition get the fuc out of the kitchen. IPad is out selling Surface 10 to 1.  Macbook is out selling surface book 20 to 1. Apple is totally dominating the Surface. If you cant handle the facts they go back to your Bill Gates worshiping websites.
    At least from what I have read, neither Apple or MS has released specific sales numbers for both devices.  Would be nice if you posted a link with more details.  
  • Reply 16 of 218
    "Struggling product" Who wrote this? Surface products are selling like hotcakes. Your example of how Surface failed was Surface RT. Yes, RT was an objective failure, however the x86 implementations of Surface have been resounding commercial successes. The fact that you use this as an example shows that you are either hideously biased, or don't know what you're writing about. Plus you're going to quote NFL players and coaches on technology issues? What do they know? If it's a network or server issue the same thing would happen with any device. If you're not going to be objective or knowledgeable, don't be a journalist.
    It is struggling! You have a product by the company with 90% of the computer market by OS with Windows on it selling a computer that has that OS and is spending nearly a billion dollars a year to promote it. It is positioning it against two Apple products categories which tend to total about 10 billion combined per quarter, but Q3 while being up 44% it only made them 700 million in revenue. Factor in the fact that their sales are at the expense of their Windows partners and the failure becomes more evident. There is a reason they don't report sales numbers in it. 

    calimwhiteanton zuykovradarthekatwilliamlondonpmzboriscletoargonauticoco3thepixeldoc
  • Reply 17 of 218
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    tezgno said:
    djsherly said:
    Dude gets paid by the word. I agree it's not a good look for MS but it's difficult to split out the problem when the surface device is the only thing that anyone sees in the solution. 


    Definitely agree here. But, as a journalist myself, this is why there is a need for good investigative reporting. The article makes one think that the problem is with the surface itself when the NFL has stated that the problem has been their own application and servers. Even though this is an Apple Blog, it isn't necessarily fair to bash someone that isn't the problem. Now, if the surfaces were crashing, locking up, or otherwise causing issues, then by all means go for it. But, in this case, the issue isn't related to the surface product. If they were using iPads and the servers went down, then it would be the same issue.
    Stop your whining. It wasn't two days ago that Apple was cited as using child labor to mine cobalt for it's batteries.
    I mean are you f'kin kidding me?!! Apple doesn't make batteries. Samsung makes batteries. Sony makes batteries. Apple is a consumer of third party batteries just like you and me.
    Foxconn puts up suicide nets because workers had threatened a "mass suicide" at the Xbox factory. (look it up).
    Wanna guess how that story got reported?? Go ahead... (hint: no mention of Microsoft)
    So don't come here with your boo-hoo-hoos about MS being bashed for what isn't "their problem".
    calimwhiteanton zuykovradarthekatwilliamlondonpmzargonautpalominepscooter63drkrleitch
  • Reply 18 of 218
    bobschlob said:
    tezgno said:
    While I can understand bashing the competition... unfortunately, this issue can't be blamed on the Microsoft Surface (or Microsoft at all). As has been reported on (and confirmed by) the NFL before, the issue has nothing to do with the Surface. Rather, it's the NFL's servers and application that went down (hence why it goes down across multiple teams at the same time). The tablet runs an application that connects to NFL servers and pulls in data including pictures, replay information, etc. It is that system that has been going down recently. To be honest, while Microsoft has paid a large sum of money for their tablets to be shown and used, the entire process is technically platform agnostic. They can run the application on anything. Unfortunately, it wouldn't matter which tablet they chose in these cases... if their servers are down, then there is nothing that can be done.
    Aww gee golly gosh! I wonder what operating system is running those backend servers?
    Unix and Linux, actually. The NFL uses Rackspace for much of their infrastructure. And, further, the NFL just reported that the issue was actually caused by the Patriot's network going down.
    Badstrollerclemynxtechlover
  • Reply 19 of 218
    danvmdanvm Posts: 725member
    sog35 said:
    danvm said:
    At least from what I have read, neither Apple or MS has released specific sales numbers for both devices.  Would be nice if you posted a link with more details.  
    Apple reports every single quarter iPad units sold 
    So there are two devices left from you post, Macbook and Surface Pro.  Any details on those two?
  • Reply 20 of 218
    bobschlob said:
    tezgno said:
    While I can understand bashing the competition... unfortunately, this issue can't be blamed on the Microsoft Surface (or Microsoft at all). As has been reported on (and confirmed by) the NFL before, the issue has nothing to do with the Surface. Rather, it's the NFL's servers and application that went down (hence why it goes down across multiple teams at the same time). The tablet runs an application that connects to NFL servers and pulls in data including pictures, replay information, etc. It is that system that has been going down recently. To be honest, while Microsoft has paid a large sum of money for their tablets to be shown and used, the entire process is technically platform agnostic. They can run the application on anything. Unfortunately, it wouldn't matter which tablet they chose in these cases... if their servers are down, then there is nothing that can be done.
    Aww gee golly gosh! I wonder what operating system is running those backend servers?
    Probably linux...
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