Microsoft and Panos Panay 'stand behind Surface'

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Earlier today, Consumer Reports caused a huge controversy by pulling its "recommended" status from all Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets. While I personally swear by the consumer-focused organization for its coverage of vehicles and appliances, I take its computer coverage with a grain of salt. After all, it infamously panned the 2016 MacBook Pro for poor battery life, even going so far as to say Chrome provided longer usage than Safari -- totally wrong, by the way. It turns out Consumer Reports's testing of the MacBook Pro was flawed and it later reversed course, recommending the Apple laptop after all.

With all of that said, I was obviously a bit dubious of its criticism of some Surface machines. In my experience, the Surface hardware is extremely well made and owners are generally satisfied with the computers. That's not to say they are perfect -- quite the contrary. Actually, they have been prone to bugs that were later fixed (mostly) with firmware and driver updates. Despite those issues, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any Surface product. Obviously Microsoft and Panos Panay -- father of Surface -- would share my disagreement with Consumer Reports. To solidify that, Panay has now penned a response titled "We stand behind Surface."

The Surface Team’s mission is and has always been to make devices that deliver great experiences to our customers and fans. It’s the motivation for everything we do, and we are proud of the Surface devices we have built.

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%.

Surface also ranks highly in customer satisfaction. 98% of Surface Pro 4 users and Surface Book users say they are satisfied with their device*, and our Surface Laptop and new Surface Pro continue to get rave reviews.

A part of being product makers is listening to our customers and pushing ourselves to evolve and improve with every generation of devices we create. We’re forever seeking innovation, encouraging positive change. It’s what we do, and what our customers do, but I can promise you one thing that will never change is our commitment to our customers and our dedication to ensuring your Surface experience only gets better.

We are proud of our products and the amazing things our customers are doing with them. We stand firmly behind the quality and reliability of the Surface family of devices, and I can confidently tell you there has never been a better time to buy a Surface.

*Based on January -June 2017 study of consumers in the US, UK, Germany, France, China, Japan, and Australia, conducted by research company IPSOS, commissioned by Microsoft.

What has been your experience with Surface devices? Do you think Consumer Reports is wrong yet again? Please tell me in the comments below.

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