Microsoft has issued a response to the controversy surrounding the recent outage of Surface tablets at a New England Patriots game. In its response, Microsoft confirms that the team indeed lost the ability to review plays in their game against the Denver Broncos due to a network issue. However, the company is quick to point out that, over the past two years, Surfaces have done their work on the sidelines without a single issue being reported. From Microsoft:
"Microsoft Surfaces have not experienced a single failure in the two years they've been used on NFL sidelines. In the past two years, Surfaces have supported nearly 100,000 minutes of sideline action, and in that time, not a single issue has been reported that is related to the tablet itself. On rare occasions like we saw on Sunday, the stadium has network issues that prevent the delivery of images to the Surface devices. In these cases, we work with the NFL to quickly troubleshoot possible network issues so we can get the photo imaging solution to proceed as normal."
The mention of 100,000 minutes without an issue is certainly an interesting stat in the rare response from Microsoft. Unfortunately for the Patriots, the network hiccup did leave the team at a slight disadvantage as the Broncos' Surfaces continued to work, allowing them to keep reviewing play footage.
Microsoft continues to note that its partnership with the NFL to provide Surfaces for reviewing play footage has been successful since its inception three years ago, with many teams reporting that they are more effective with quick access to full video footage, as opposed to the black-and-white play photos that were used prior to the Surface's introduction.