Microsoft Plays Defence On Surface Reliability Concerns

Last week, Consumer Reports gave Microsoft a pasting over the reliability of the Surface Pro and Surface Book computers. It’s easy to see why given no fewer than a quarter of devices needed a repair within two years of purchase according to Consumer Reports. Microsoft, as expected, has mounted a defence but it’s not very strong.

As we reported last week, Consumer Reports panned the Microsoft Surface’s reliability. As I mentioned, my sons have school-issued Surface Pro devices and, while they like the devices, I did question them about the reliability.

My youngest son, who is pretty careful told me the kickstand on his device flaps around now and doesn’t lock into position. It’s not a major component failure and he is living with it as his computer is due for replacement at the end of this school year.

But he has lost count of the number of replacement power supplies he’s needed- and my other son has had a few replaced as well.

While a sample of two is not enough to draw conclusions, it’s telling that they both suffer similar issues.

Microsoft’s defence, titled We Stand Behind Surface, is very light on actual data.

The say the predicted and actual failure rates are well below 25% but don’t tell us what they actually are or what they consider a failure. Is a power supply replacement a failure? That seems, based on comments from readers and asking a few friends about their Surface experience, to be a fairly common problem.

They also point to a recent survey suggesting 98% of users are “satisfied” with their Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. Given both those devices are very recent additions to the Surface family, that’s hardly a surprise. Consumer reports looked at a longer window that “I just got it”.

If Consumer Report’ data is accurate, then Microsoft’s problems aren’t going to fixed quickly. And no amount of spin can cover poor reliability.

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