Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s have had a troublesome tablet partnership, with the National Football League. After Microsoft clinched a $400 million deal with the NFL in 2013 to have its Surface tablets exclusively on team sidelines for the purpose of reviewing plays, TVG commentators kept calling Surfaces iPads. During that time networks were said to be reminding their talkers that Surface did not resemble iPads in any way and should therefore be called by its actual name.
Microsoft had another public embarrassment during the AFC championship game on Sunday between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos when the tablets on the Patriot’s sidelines reportedly failed. Evan Washburn, CBS’s sideline reporter, informed during the game that they are having trouble with their MS Surface tablets. On the last move, the Patriots’ coaches could not use the tablets to display pictures to their players. The Patriots’ tablets were put back in working state post the interruption that a Microsoft’s spokesman attributed to a network connectivity issue.
The NFL exposed players as well the coaches to the Surface Pro2 tablet in 2015. This season, Microsoft is upgrading the gadgets to a robust weather proof model of its Surface Pro3 tablet that boasts of a larger and thinner screen, less weight, more clear images as well as a pen that can be utilized in 4 different colors.
While Microsoft’s public relation team is not too happy today, the fact that the Patriots’ coaches were ruffled demonstrates how much the teams depend on Microsoft technology in the game.
Microsoft said in a statement that their team on the field found out that the issue was not about the tablets but about an issue with the network connectivity. The company added that Microsoft worked with their partners who handle the network to make sure that the issue was tackled quickly.
The Broncos, who did not face a tablet interruption, were permitted to continue utilizing their tablets as NFL rules mandate the tablets to be shut down for the participating teams only if they have trouble before the commencement of the game.
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Microsoft clearly needs to get its act together to prevent future embarrassments regarding its Surface tablets.