A recent Consumer Reports report has slammed the Microsoft Surface line and removed them from their recommended devices and putting them into the “not recommended” list, stating upwards of a 25% failure rate. Panos Panay has responded with Microsoft’s own statistics and disagreement with Consumer Reports.
This will be an interesting story to follow, seeing both companies bring data to back up each others claims. While I am a Microsoft fan, if something has problems – it has problems. Being a fan of Microsoft, if reliability is a concern, it needs to be called out so it can be remedied and the next model be a higher quality. In the past, Panos has been very receptive to criticism and eager to fix the issues, typically with great results.
This is why today’s Consumer Reports survey is disappointing. While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings. Surface has had quite a journey over the last few years, and we’ve learned a lot. In the Surface team we track quality constantly, using metrics that include failure and return rates – both our predicted 1-2-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25%. Additionally, we track other indicators of quality such as incidents per unit (IPU), which have improved from generation to generation and are now at record lows of well below 1%.