The reason Consumer Reports took Microsoft and Surface to task was a significantly higher rate of breakage during the first couple of years of ownership, according to Reuters. Consumer Reports based its assessment on responses from 90,000 tablet and laptop owners and estimated that a full quarter of all Surface owners would experience some sort of problem with their PCs within two years of purchase. The most common issues with the Microsoft devices were reportedly frequent freezes, unexpected shutdowns, and touchscreen problems.
However, Microsoft quickly responded, saying it disagrees with the conclusion. Microsoft also said "its return and support rates differ significantly" than Consumer Reports' findings, Reuters says.
For what it's worth, Windows Central has a very active set of community forums based on the Surface lineup, and though we see posts regarding hardware issues and concerns about Surfaces, we have not seen constant complaints about Surface reliability. And a few months ago, J.D. Power, another trusted product recommendations company, released some very different findings.
Of course, that does not mean a problem doesn't exist.
Either way, the Consumer Reports findings are very bad news for Microsoft, because many people, especially those who aren't particularly tech savvy and who look to the most well-known names for product recommendations, rely heavily on Consumer Reports when making purchase decisions. It's going to be tough for the Surface lineup to come away from this without a major scar on its reputation.
What's worse: Apple's computers ranked highest in reliability in the study, according to Reuters.
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Al Sacco is content director of Future PLC's Mobile Technology Vertical, which includes AndroidCentral.com, iMore.com and WindowsCentral.com. He is a veteran reporter, writer, reviewer and editor who has professionally covered and evaluated IT and mobile technology, and countless associated gadgets and accessories, for more than a decade. You can keep up with Al on Twitter and Instagram.