Microsoft's Surface Computers Lose Consumer Reports Backing

Microsoft Surface laptop computers sit on display during an event in New York. Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation of four of the laptops

Consumer Reports removes its "recommended" designation on Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface devices. At issue, the publication says, is the "predicted reliability" of the Microsoft machines compared to most other brands, which Consumer Reports said was worse by a "statistically significant margin." .

The non-profit consumer publication surveyed 90K laptop and tablet owners and found that 25% of respondents with Surface products would experience "problems by the end of the second year of ownership".

Microsoft said in a statement that it doesn't "believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners' true experiences".

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In a fairly short but to-the-point tweet on Thursday morning, Reuters revealed that Microsoft Surface devices have underwhelmed in Consumer Reports' reliability tests. In all these years, we've seen four generations of the Surface Pro, a Surface RT model, the introduction of Surface Book, a Surface Studio all in one PC, and more recently a new Surface device dubbed the Surface Pro. Those products, along with the rest of the Surface lineup, were supposed to help Microsoft eat away at the laptop and tablet market share (both revenue- and shipment-wise), which is now dominated by Apple.

In May Patently Apple posted a report titled "Microsoft launched their New Surface Pro & Pen during a Special Event Held in Shanghai China". But a subscriber survey found start-up and freezing problems. Microsoft, on the other hand, is less reliable than most other brands. The company recently released a fix for issues consumers reported with the Windows Hello webcam. "Due to its comparatively higher breakage rate, Microsoft laptops can not be recommended by Consumer Reports at this time", the publication notes. Of course, the nature of consumer tech is that something will probably go wrong for a subset of devices over the course of their typical use. Nonetheless, while it has great things to say - like much of the industry, ourselves included - about the Surface range in terms of performance, it argues it can't recommend the current models.

Microsoft's data differed from that of the Consumer Reports survey.

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