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  • Microsoft’s defense of Surface quality problems

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Microsoft’s defense of Surface quality problems

    This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  lurks about 2 months ago.

    • Author
    • #129205 Reply

      Da Boss

      Paul Thurrott has seen an internal Microsoft memo that tackles the Consumer Reports Surface reliability findings. Interesting read on Thurrott.com. Pa
      [See the full post at: Microsoft’s defense of Surface quality problems]

    • #129218 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Not the right move to challenge your own customers to what their experiences have been. Would be better to move past this and acknowledge some issues and vow to do better with quality. Obviously you buy a expensive device like a Surface. You do not expect to wait for fixes, endure glitches or have to have it repaired or replaced.  These are actual customers Microsoft not some Apple loving Microsoft hating reviewer who gave the Surface a really bad review. Consumer Reports actually withheld judgement on the Surface until it had enough responses to make a proper judgement on the Microsoft products.

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #129228 Reply

      lurks about
      AskWoody Lounger

      CR is known to report its information accurately and makes judgments it. There may be issues with sampling that are skewing the results (a surprising common problem with smallish sample sizes). But they took the data and did not hide it. MS has a choice: either be an adult and admit they own the problems (which may be solved by now) or be a toddler pitching a fit that CR is wrong, ‘Intel is a fault’, or what other lame excuse they want to offer.

      The CR failure rates seem too high to me unless they are lumping both hardware and software problems together. But their data probably showed MS hardware to have an unusually high failure rate compared to others. Far too high for them to recommend anyone buy.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #129255 Reply

        Da Boss

        It’d be nice to know how many machines, of what type, were covered in the survey. But pulling the “Recommended” imprimatur is certainly supported by what I’ve seen and heard. And reported.

        • #129299 Reply

          AskWoody Lounger

          The report coming out in Consumer Reports might shed light more on models. Or at least which one’s had the most problems or if it was a mix of models which is why CR gave all of them a not recommended status.

          • #129305 Reply


            Consumer Reports should also do a survey on the reliability and long term stability of Windows 10.
            … The outcome will likely also be “Not recommended”, esp for Win 10 Home.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #129309 Reply


        CR is not a trustworthy publication, it just has a good veil covering it.  They have been caught taking making false claims to get publicity and sell magazines with their “reviews” (old school click bait).   Not saying that is what happened here, maybe they cleaned up their act since the late 90s early 2000s, but I always take CR reports with a grain of salt.  That said, Microsoft’s quality problems with the surface line were well known before CR brought them to a brighter light.




        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #129319 Reply



          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Reports mostly says otherwise about the allegations, ie CR made false claims in their consumer reports/reviews to get publicity and sell magazines.

          Over the years, Consumer Reports might have made a few isolated mistakes in product-testing but in general their consumer reports are trustworthy. At least, CR were apologetic about their mistakes and quickly took remedial actions, unlike M$.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #129437 Reply

          lurks about
          AskWoody Lounger

          I trust their honesty but I have enough knowledge of statistics that I would like actual analysis. Their mistakes are often relying on their reader surveys and not a true random sample and not digging deeper. Also, they have been burned by problems that took time to show up in the past. They are like any reviewer, use them cautiously and do your own homework.

    • #129263 Reply


      So the Surface Team cooked up the ‘Intel did it’ excuse!!! I guess we can assume that they also falsified reports on testing, repairing and refurbishing devices. Panay wanting to know how Lenovo was handling Skylake issues is proof that he was lied to by his own people. Then there are the customer satisfaction reports that are skewed to produce a positive message. There is a lot to fix here.

      Marketing is now in charge of addressing CR’s findings!!! Surface Users can now sleep at night.

    • #129274 Reply


      Buy iPad.

    • #129298 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Microsoft has a growing trust problem with its customers. At the very least this type of response doesn’t help anything. Who is actually promoting this type of reaction to problems at Microsoft?

    • #129326 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Customers who spend more on premium products tend to be more satisfied even when they are unreliable because they need to justify their own decision-making process. Whether you believe or not doesn’t matter. Because NPS does not measure reliability, which is what Consumer Reports is estimating. It measures customer satisfaction.

      This is an excellent point that Paul Thurrott made. My thought is that Microsoft (and probably most companies) reports on “customer satisfaction”, while Consumer Reports reports on “reliability”. All that is necessary to achieve customer satisfaction is to create a perception in your customers that the total experience is good. In other words, your product can have all kinds of problems, but if you have made the customers feel that overall, all is good, you can report the high customer satisfaction numbers.

      I remember back in the 90s, when Microsoft was knocking off one competitor after another. I often heard the comment among my IT coworkers that Microsoft products weren’t as solid as competing products. But the Pied Piper of all Pied Pipers, Bill Gates, convinced people that they should go with Microsoft because _____ (you fill in the blank). Consequently, good non-Microsoft products got shelved, while inferior Microsoft products got adopted. It seems that Microsoft is trying this same approach with the Surface; but this time they got caught.

    • #129377 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Consumer Reports lab tested the Microsoft Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versons), and the Microsoft Surface Book (128GB and 512GB versions) and the Surface Pro. The lab rating was high, and they made recommendations based on that. They do an annual survey of their members actually using a wide variety of products (cars, washing machines, lawn mowers, computers, etc.). This survey is not special to Microsoft or Surface Products, or any particular company or brand. There are millions of subscribers completing the survey on all types of products they buy. Per Consumer Reports, a number of survey respondents experienced problems with their devices during startup, some froze or shut down unexpectedly, and that the touch screens weren’t responsive enough. The data came from 90,741 tablets and laptops that were bought new between 2014 and the beginning of 2017. These were all brands, not just Microsoft. However, this is the first year that Consumer Reports had enough data to estimate predicted reliability for Surface products. Predicted reliability is based on data from the annual surveys based on user’s actual experiences with current models. This isn’t about marketing or lab tests, but based on real world performance. Can average consumers tell if it is a hardware or software problem? No… but Microsoft sure isn’t stepping up to provide solutions to those consumers that trusted them enough to buy and use their products… They are very, very slow to acknowledge problems, but quick to blame everyone and everything else. Consumer Reports had recommended Surface products based on lab tests… but pulled that recommendation because of real world problems users were having… nothing fishy or click bait or remarkable here. They work hard not to be sucked into being used to market particular products, but provide reliable information to consumers.
      Years of experience with referencing Consumer Reports before making major buying decisions has saved me a lot of time, energy, and grief through the years. I have household items that last years, perform reliably, and were best buy recommendations at the time I bought them. So… car still going at 250,000 miles, washing machine that works well 20 years later, lawn mower just right to do the jobs I need, etc., etc.. I’ve saved money on time, gas, electricity, repairs and replacements of items. Those are the things that I, as a consumer, as a customer, want. Microsoft trying to tell me what I want and can have as their customer is like having them shove their bits and bytes down my throat, and it makes me gag. Reputable companies have acknowledged and fixed problems identified by Consumer Reports, not marketed them away… and profited from having better, more satisfying products in the long run.
      Obviously that isn’t Microsoft’s plan. They can’t hear what their customers are saying, whether reported directly to them, on a tech site, or a customer survey result. The customer is always wrong! Oops… not…


      Win 7 Home, Group B

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Elly.

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