Microsoft pays $400 million for product placement; Surface tablets fail during Patriots vs. Broncos playoff game

During what is guaranteed to be one of the most-watched NFL games of the year, the Divisional Playoffs between AFC powerhouses Denver Broncos and New England Patriots featuring future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 tablets failed spectacularly.

Microsoft pays the NFL $400 million to use fake iPads instead of the real thing to review plays on the sidelines. Microsoft has to feign success by paying entities like the NFL hundreds of millions just to use (or try to use) their wannabe products because the fact is that a single quarter of iPad Pro sales exceed the total of all Microsoft Surface tablets ever sold. The New England Patriots wish the NFL didn’t take the cash over real iPads since they were without working tablets for most of the first half of play.

With numerous mentions by the game’s announcers, including Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, including the oh-so-appropriate use of the word “frustrating” in tandem with “Microsoft,” Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 tablets failed utterly and spectacularly. Par for the Microsoft course. As with all Microsoft products, it was, of course, only a matter of time.

Since this whole deal is about perception, Microsoft just flushed another $400 million down the drain unless they intended to implicitly promote Apple’s iPad during what will likely be the NFL’s most-watched game of the season this side of the Super Bowl.

Check out the game video and the commentary on the failure of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4:

More nationally televised commentary on the abject failure of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4:


MacDailyNews Take: As always, Microsoft is a clown car of pure delight!

The NFL and the New England Patriots just came to a sad realization:

If it’s not an iPad, it’s not an iPad.

A single quarter of iPad Pro sales will exceed the total of all Microsoft Surface tablets ever sold – November 24, 2015
Microsoft pays $400 million for product placement, then NFL announcer calls Surface tablet ‘iPad-like’ on air – September 8, 2014
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone says his Microsoft Surface tablet ‘didn’t work’ for portion of game – August 4, 2014
How Apple’s iPad is revolutionizing NFL playbooks for players and coaches – July 19, 2012
Miami Dolphins latest to replace huge paper playbooks with Apple iPads – June 24, 2012
Cincinnati Bengals go digital with iPad playbooks, join dozen other NFL teams – June 15, 2012
Denver Broncos NFL team transfers traditional playbooks to Apple iPads – April 23, 2012
NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucs give every player an Apple iPad 2 to hold playbook, video – August 25, 2011
NFL teams considering replacing playbooks with Apple iPads – February 4, 2011


  1. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the executive offices at Microsoft today.
    But I’d hate to be a chair in there . . . even with Ballmer gone, they still aren’t safe. 😉

  2. Lots of stupid people know nothing about the real situation again and easy to blame on Microsoft. Get your facts straight when the tablet has nothing to do when all of the sudden the NFL network failed. Blame the provider!

      1. To both of you:

        Microsoft has taken the stance on Windows 10 to run updates without your permission.

        As far as the hardware or tablet is concerned, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a package deal. If the NFL IT group can’t figure out how to make the system work, why bother investing in the technology. You can blame anything from Chinese components, the OS to the application compiler. The fact of the matter, ether side, on the Surface and iPad, each company owns their tech and is responsible all the way down to the field play.

        If the NFL went with the iPad, I am dead certain this issue would not happen, on the field. There would be up to game day issues to remedy, but when it’s go time, you don’t see this problem with Apple.

  3. People, people, people, you are jumping to conclusions and looking bad. Think about it. How can all the tablets fail at the same time? Not possible. Based on NFL rules each tablet can only run one application. Each tablet has its own private network. It was the private networks that went down. Which probably means there was a router issue. Not a Surface table issue. Next time don’t jump to conclusions.

  4. This also looks doubly bad for Mac Daily News. You may not love Microsoft but it doesn’t give you the right to print false news. It was a router failure and not a Surface Tablet failure. You lost a lot of credibility for sounding like bullies and sorry to say idiots. I suggest you hire someone to check your stories before publishing them.

    1. If Apple were in charge, they would have had backup networks (including cellular network backups) to switch to like they do during their product intros.
      It would have Just Worked.

  5. Typed on my Surface 4. Come on guys – “fake iPads instead of the real thing” indeed. I watched the game (long-time Bronco fan) and the Surfaces didn’t fail – it was their wireless network. A whole butch of computers don’t fail at the same time. The announcers said that they hard wired them until the wireless was fixed which it was pretty quickly. Your “journalist” needs a basic education on computers and lose the bias.

    1. Microsoft sent them a bad Windows 10 update and BSOD’d all of them in one hit. They’ve already publicly admitted it was their fault so you and your pals can stop shilling now.

  6. Relax! You don’t know why they weren’t working. Could easily be the wifi went out. The fact that this is so Apple focused is ridiculous. I own a Surface Pro 3 and several Apple products and I would take Microsoft every time. Apple fails so often even my pro Apple wife is beginning to migrate.

  7. Lot of Microsoft lovers here today that are getting a little butthurt over nothing.

    It may not have been the tablets, but it looked like it. Good on the NFL and Microsoft. Microsoft will never get enough payback for their past transgressions. Love it.

    Not typed on a Surface 1,2,3 or 4 pos…

    Lol. Go Denver!

  8. Getting past the obvious hammering of Microsoft, I think it’s just payback for those cheaters, the New England Patriots. Any time I can see that representative of the white man (Brady) get his ass kicked, I’m all for it.

    BTW- Microsoft and Apple have had a solid working relationship since before most of you were born. Get over it.

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