The Redmond giant was pretty quick to strike back, as VP of devices Panos Panay shared some hard data proving that return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book (two devices that have been affected by several post-launch issues) were lower than what the controversial report suggested.
Panay and his team "worked tirelessly" to make sure that all bugs were ironed out, something that was seemingly not reflected in Consumer Reports' essay. Return rates on Surface hardware have been quite high.
According to Thurrott, Microsoft had tried to blame its hardware problems on Intel. It appears Microsoft's own problems were the result of the company's unique approach to the Surface Book, with custom firmware and drivers. Indeed, the extent of the issue was only recognized by senior Microsoft management when other Windows notebook OEMs confirmed that they had no complaints about Skylake whatsoever. Satya Nadella apparently contacted Lenovo at one point to ask how they were dealing with the Skylake problem. The spikes in Surface 3 Pro returns correlates to reporting on battery problems with the device.More news: Study finds massive volcano range hidden in Antarctica's ice
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The revelation of internal software incompetence caused Microsoft to cancel or delay more ambitious products past year, resulting in the current boring generation of slightly upgraded Surface Pro (tellingly without the driver-nightmare USB-C/Thunderbolt ports) and the even more boring Surface Laptop. "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". Because NPS does not measure reliability, which is what Consumer Reports is estimating.
Microsoft believes it has fixed these issues and that return rates have decreased over the past 12 months as a result. He claims that subsequent devices have been launched in far more reliable states, and that Microsoft is adamant on letting its users know that.
"[We] have put together a comprehensive set of data that reflects the strength of our quality and our customer sentiment, and will be working with partner organizations, including marketing, retail, and sales, to share that information broadly", he writes.
Four, that Surface customers-whatever the reason-are very happy with their purchases.
Is Intel The Cause For Surface Reliability Issues Or Microsoft Itself?