New England Patriots’ coach Belichick: Microsoft Surface breakdowns are common

“Heading into the weekend, Bill Belichick probably didn’t expect to be spending his Monday press conference after the AFC title game talking about tablets,” Sean Wagner-McGough reports for CBS Sports. “But here we are — the Patriots just barely lost to the Broncos and Belichick spent a portion of his press conference on Monday explaining the Patriots’ Microsoft Surface tablet malfunctions, which occurred during the first half of the AFC Championship on Sunday.”

“According to CBS Sports sideline reporter Evan Washburn, the malfunctions affected the Patriots while the Broncos drove down the field for their second touchdown of the first half,” Wagner-McGough reports. “Across the field, the Broncos weren’t required to shut down their tablets while the Patriots were flying blind and officials worked to fix the problem.”

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
“But, a day after the loss, Belichick wasn’t willing to blame the tablet malfunctions. With that being said, he did call the technological issues ‘a pretty common problem,’ which isn’t the best statement to hear considering the tablets are supposed to make the lives of coaches and players easier,” Wagner-McGough reports. “‘It is what it is,’ Belichick said, via MassLive. ‘It’s a pretty common problem. We have ways of working through it. There’s really nothing you can do. It’s not like the headsets where the other sides are really affected. You deal with what you deal with.'”

“‘We have had it at home, we have had it on the road, other teams have had it, it’s a fairly common problem that didn’t affect the outcome of the game — in no way. That’s just part of it. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t,'” Wagner-McGough reports. “In fact, the Patriots sometimes stick with the old-school method of taking photographs and printing them out. Belichick told reporters that they use the photos as a ‘backup,’ calling them ‘more dependable’ than the tablets.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 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 ill-conceived dreck because the fact is that a single quarter of iPad Pro sales exceed the total of all Microsoft Surface tablets ever sold.

There were numerous mentions during the televised broadcast 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.” Since this Microsoft-NFL promotional 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.

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

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

Check out the broadcast commentary on the failure of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4:

Some Twitter reactions:

Microsoft pays $400 million for product placement; Surface tablets fail during Patriots vs. Broncos playoff game – January 24, 2016
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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Wally Wright” for the heads up.]


      1. Booting up??? My wife’s iPad 1 had never failed to “boot up.”

        In fact, I don’t think it has been turned off in 2 years at this point. Apple’s quality points to what Microsoft is lacking which is hardware knowledge.

    1. 1. The reason for the failure is meaningless as MDN has pointed out repeatedly: “Since this Microsoft-NFL promotional 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.”

      2. Notice how Belichick doesn’t blame the tablets or the balls’ air pressure or anything else for the loss unlike other classless, losing teams have done in the past?

      3. I’ve read some of your responses here recently. You often seem to miss the point regardless of how obvious it is. Do you have a learning disability or head injury or are you under 12?

      1. Or about headset problems, (Pittsburgh), or Manning suggesting that there were listening devices in their locker room. Great coaching knows what to expect during a game and knows how to overcome things that go wrong.

        If this had happened in Foxboro the NFL and ESPN would be making a huge deal about it claiming that the Pats were cheating. Just goes with being so good for so long.

        It’s not just the tablets, the NFL can’t seem to get consistently reliable communication during the games. Must be because they’re more concerned about the money they can squeeze out of vendors then how well it works.

        Reliability and Microsoft don’t belong in the same sentence.

      1. They are on their own networks to prevent tapping. It’s hardware. Those things get used roughly, a lot. Shit happens. Ipads freak out all the time, too. People act like Apple stuff is flawless. It ain’t. People just think it doesn’t because people that own them lie about how perfect they are because how much the paid. Besides, the team failed to win. Not because they couldn’t look at pictures.

  1. This is a ‘professional’ speaking:

    ‘…A pretty common problem,’
    ‘Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t’
    ‘There’s really nothing you can do.’

    Oh yes there is.
    Never settle for ‘good enough’ and Hell No, don’t settle for ‘sometimes they work…’

    Once again, shoving money into someone’s face compromises the quality and professionalism of their work. Sound like politics? Sick and stupid.

    I need to list the solution. All of us here know.

    1. Hey Derek, as you know I love your stuff so here’s a bit of a parody for you, speaking as human from the free and civilized world about a certain nation that’s a “pretty common problem” cause most of the time *around 80%) they are at war, sometimes they aren’t (about 20%) and there’s really nothing you can do.”

      I’d love to not settle for “peaceful enough” and I don’t want to settle for “sometimes they don’t torture”.

      I don’t need to list the solution, all of the civilized and free world knows.

      Love your posts, have a great day.

    1. Actually, I recall that there is an airline – is it Delta? – that took the money and the fake iPads from Microsoft over the objections of pilots and even their own IT guys. Does anybody else recall this?

      1. Ok, here it is.

        Apparently I got the IT part wrong, but the pilots were definitely behind the iPad. But why listen to them? Hell, they are only the ones with the lives of all your customers in their hands…

        1. Because pilots don’t know shit all about anything that isn’t flying a plane or where to find the best hookers on layovers.

          You won’t believe this (and nor should you believe anything on the internet) but I am the EFB (pilot ipad) manager for an international airline and let me just say that I can understand why Delta made the switch.

    1. @trondude
      Would you please post the article where Bill B is actually blaming the tablets? And the pictures of Brady crying in his sippy cup? You might have a little trouble finding them. I’m pretty sure that any hit that ANY of those QBs endure would leave you in a fetal position with a need for new underwear.

  2. In all fairness, this problem sounds like it would have affected the iPad just as much as the Surface. This really isn’t a whole lot different from the LA Unified debacle as far as I can tell.

    Not to say the Surface 4 doesn’t have it’s own set of problems (I own an iPad 3, and iPad Pro, a Surface Pro [original], and a Surface 4, btw). The Surface 4 eats battery life while sleeping (leave it sleeping for a few hours and the battery goes dead — almost as bad as just leaving it on). I will say this — the stylus is almost as good as the Apple Pencil and the display is amazing. The biggest drawback is that it runs Windows 10 (which, is a heck of a lot better than the Windows 8 on my original Surface Pro I must admit; though that isn’t saying much).

    No question that from a tablet perspective the iPad Pro wins hands down. But if you are forced to run Windows applications on a hand-held device (my use case), the Surface 4 isn’t a bad machine.

    Having said that, my particular use case (mixing live audio on a tablet) suffers considerably due to network issues (at a show with several thousand smart phones hammering on your wireless router thinking it’s an Internet access point does create some problems). That’s true for iPads (e.g., mixing on a Yamaha LS9) as well as the Surface (mixing on SAC). Given the number of phones blasting away at an HFL game, I can certainly understand why the system would have wireless network issues.

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