Microsoft Addresses Surface Fail at AFC Championship Game
Surface tablets emerged as a highlight of last Sunday's big game, and not in a good way.Apart from the Denver Broncos beating the New England Patriots 20-18 in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday and securing a spot in this year's Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers, one of the talked-about moments of the game came from an unlikely source: Microsoft's Surface tablet. On TV, millions of football fans saw the Patriots struggle with failed Surface 3 devices on the sidelines. Lingering shots of the nonfunctioning tablets along with commentary from broadcast game announcers painted an unflattering picture of Microsoft's hardware during a crucial game. Now, Microsoft is clearing the air surrounding the high-profile tech meltdown. "I've gotten a lot of questions about this outage so I thought it was important to not only explain what happened on Sunday but also share some updates on our partnership with the NFL as we near the second full season of Surface devices being used on the sidelines," wrote Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, in a Jan. 26 blog post addressing the controversy. A network glitch, not the tablet themselves, was the cause of the failure.
"On rare occasions like we saw on Sunday, the stadium has network issues that prevent the delivery of images to the Surface devices," explained Mehdi. "In these cases, we work with the NFL to quickly troubleshoot possible network issues so we can get the photo imaging solution to proceed as normal."