Microsoft responds to controversy about Surface and the NFL

Kit McDonald

In light of recent events and controversy surrounding the capability of Surface tablets on the NFL sidelines, Microsoft felt the need to make yet another blog post. This is the second NFL-oriented feature article from Microsoft in the last two weeks, both of which could be viewed by some as a response to the accusations of poor performance.

In case you aren’t caught up, Microsoft and the NFL teamed up to provide Surface tablets to the sidelines to replace the more traditional printed play images. With the Surface, coaches and team leaders can revise their strategies based on video feedback. Unfortunately, for some coaches, the Surfaces seem to be more trouble than they’re worth.

Unfortunately, for some coaches, the Surface devices seem to be more trouble than they’re worth. Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, made a public statement last week swearing off the use of Surface tablets. “As you probably noticed, I’m done with the tablets. They’re just too undependable for me,” he said during a five-minute-long rant. During his tirade, he also claimed that many other coaches also “stick with pictures” due to the alleged inconsistency of the tablets.

Yet, according to the Seattle Seahawks and others, the Surface tablets have been performing just fine. The blog post from Microsoft is riddled with compliments to the improved gameplay and ease of the devices on the sidelines from various coaches and players. It ultimately goes into what can only be described as a salute towards IT staff on the sidelines.

It’s an ever-changing, fast-paced technical environment – truly one of the toughest IT jobs on one of the world’s biggest stages, with hundreds of millions of viewers watching. We applaud these hard-working technical experts and appreciate their great partnership.

It’s true that the conditions of the football stadium aren’t the premium workplace for using a Surface tablet or technology in general. Between the lines, Microsoft’s statement seems to be clear: The NFL partnership is important to them and they feel confident that the majority of professional teams can and will continue using their product.