Here’s what Microsoft says internally about reliability of Surface laptops

Sahash Khanal avatar. By: Sahash Khanal
2 minute read

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A leaked memo from Microsoft has revealed what the company thinks about the quality and reliability of its Surface products. The memo, which was received by Thurrott.com, shows that Microsoft disagrees with a recent report by Consumer Reports which said that it could no longer recommend Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets. Here’s a snippet of the memo sent by Microsoft corporate vice president Panos Panay:

“It’s important for us to always learn more from our customers and how they view their ownership journey with our products from reads. Feedback like this [from Consumer Reports] stings, but pushes us to obsess more about our customers.”

Consumer Reports removed its “recommended” designation for the Surface laptops and tablets last week, claiming that the products, compared with laptops and tablets from other brands, had “poor predicted reliability”. Consumer Reports claims that to judge the reliability of any product, it surveys its subscribers who own and use the product. In its report, it claimed that as many as 25 percents of all Microsoft laptops and tablets will end up with serious problems by the end of the second year.

The Microsoft memo, however, tells a slightly different story. Panay’s memo claims that the report by Consumer Reports doesn’t take into account the latest improvements added to the surface laptops, adding that the survey was perhaps a bit too over-weighted with angry customers.

“[The] improvements were unfortunately not reflected in the results of this [Consumer Reports] survey.”

Paney doesn’t limit his frustration to that, adding that Microsoft takes the matter of testing its products much more seriously than it is given credit for.

“We take quality seriously, conducting rigorous reliability testing during development to forecast failure and return rates, which are then continually viewed against [real world data] post-launch. We also regularly review other metrics to understand the experience we are providing to our customers and our findings show our products are in a much healthier place than noted by Consumer Reports.”

Panay also adds in his memo that several blogs had come to Microsoft’s defense over the report by Consumer Reports. And this was, Panay notes, before there was even any real proof that the report was inaccurate. Panay’s memo states that the company will continue to “engage” with Consumer Reports, to learn from their survey and to improve things for customers, until they can “reverse their [Consumer Reports’] findings”.

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