Bill Belichick, New England Patriots coach, yesterday undid millions in Microsoft marketing by very publicly dumping Microsoft’s Surface tablets, despite most of the complaints appearing to be about connectivity issues in the stadiums where the tablets operate.
Now in a statement Microsoft defended their technology, saying:
“We respect Coach Belichick’s decision, but stand behind the reliability of Surface. We continue to receive positive feedback on having Surface devices on the sidelines from coaches, players and team personnel across the league. In the instances where sideline issues are reported in NFL games, we work closely with the NFL to quickly address and resolve.”
Microsoft has a $400 million sponsorship deal with the NFL, and the NFL insists this is still going strong.
“Microsoft is an integral, strategic partner of the NFL and implementing their technology on our sidelines has increased the efficiency and speed of collaboration between coaches and players to an all-time high,” the NFL’s statement said. “Within our complex environment, many factors can affect the performance of a particular technology either related to or outside of our partner’s solutions. We continue to work with all of our partners to ensure the best systems are in place to most effectively assist the clubs in the execution of their game plan.”
Given the hostile environment the tablets have to operate in, and with the media happy to call the tablets iPads when they are working well and Surfaces when they are working poorly, one does have to wonder if that $400 million is well spent.