Skip to main content

Microsoft Surface tablets knocked unconscious in AFC Championship match

nfl surface tablets malfunction mem 1
Microsoft’s Surface tablet, part of a $400 million deal with the NFL, didn’t get the best coverage at the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos over the weekend, after the main shots of the device showed NFL officials staring helplessly at ones that weren’t working. The malfunction happened during the first half of the game, when a networking issue took most of the Surface tablets offline.

It is the latest mishap in the high profile marketing campaign, which sadly happened to be broadcast to millions of football fans watching one of the most hyped games of the year.

Microsoft denied responsibility for the failure, saying in a statement “the issue was not related to the tablets themselves but rather an issue with the network.” It took NFL officials up to twenty minutes to fix all of the Surface tablet issues, and regardless of the fault, isn’t the kind of publicity Microsoft probably wants from the NFL tie-up.

It wraps up a rather disappointing year for the Surface provider, with NFL commentators referring to the tablet as an iPad at the start of the season — despite being told not to — and New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz saying on Twitter that the Surface tablets “always malfunction”. Microsoft also had an issue in early December, when the Dallas Cowboys were unable to use the tablets in a game against the Washington Redskins.

At least Microsoft has been able to indirectly show the toughness of the Surface tablet through quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Johnny Manziel, and Jay Cutler, who all put the sturdiness of the tablet to the test. The story comes just days after Microsoft introduced premium versions of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, each with faster processors, more memory, and additional storage to make them attractive to power users.

Editors' Recommendations

David Curry
Former Digital Trends Contributor
David has been writing about technology for several years, following the latest trends and covering the largest events. He is…
Microsoft’s new audio dock is part speaker, part USB hub
The Microsoft Audio dock with cable being connected.

Amidst the buzz of the Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Pro 9 created at today's Surface launch event, Microsoft launched a few Microsoft Teams-centric accessories as well.

One of the newly released devices is a USB-C-powered hub called the Microsoft Audio Dock, featuring a built-in speaker for meetings and music.

Read more
The Surface Laptop 5 ditches AMD for a simpler lineup
The Surface Laptop 5 in new Sage color.

Microsoft has announced the Surface Laptop 5 at its annual fall Surface event. There aren't many changes from the outside, but inside, Microsoft has made a drastic change to the hardware by pulling support for AMD Ryzen processors in this generation.

The Surface Laptop 4 was the first (and only) Surface device to provide an option for Ryzen processors. Notably, it was a highlight of the laptop, providing better multi-core performance and longer battery life than its Intel rival.

Read more
The Surface Pro 9 embraces ARM chips and a splash of fresh color
Microsoft's Surface Tablet 9 sitting on a table.

Microsoft's big fall Surface event has come, and the Surface Pro 9 is the headline new product. From the outside, it doesn't look all that different from last year's Surface Pro 8.

The detachable keyboard comes in some new color options, Sapphire and Forest, which Microsoft says contain at least "12% renewable content" from sugarcane waste. There's also a new engraved design made in partnership with fashion brand Liberty London -- but it's otherwise an identical chassis.

Read more