Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) usually gets rave reviews thrown at its Surface products. As it turns out, Consumer Reports is not so fond of the premium gadget range. After taking a good look at the gadgets and taking them out for a spin, the popular reviewer recommends you stay well away from Surface.
Chin up, says Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief of devices. The gadget head acknowledges the importance of honest criticism and says there is always room for improvement. This is according to a recently sourced internal statement, cited by Paul Thurrott. The company is now out prove the superiority of its gadgets in spite of Consumer Reports’ comments.
Via the statement, we learn that the software major believes that Consumer Reports has lost the plot. Panay highlights that it’s important to get feedback from Microsoft consumers. He also wrote about documenting the value that users derive from owning the company’s devices. The device chief also says he is hurt by Consumer Reports. However, the review only makes him more obsessed with enhancing customer experience.
“Feedback like this stings,” the internal memo reads. “…but pushes us to obsess more about our customers. It’s important for us to always learn more from our customers and how they view their ownership journey with our products.”
Bearing that, Panay would like to learn more about how to gain pleasing reports from CR, too. He wrote about achieving better scores with the reviewer in his internal memo. The device chief would like to engage more with the reviewing entity, find out how it goes about its tests and “reverse” this week’s conclusions.
The document goes on to cite the quality issues Microsoft had with its initial Surface Books and Surface Pro tablets. That wasn’t entirely the company’s fault though, or so the company claimed. Thurrott reminds his readers about the “buggy” Intel Skylake chipsets featured on the Surface Book and Pro 4.
Microsoft Corporation Surface quality issue
As the story goes, the Windows giant was eager to be the among the first to push out devices equipped with the widely anticipated Skylakes. When the reliability of those chips came into question, it was already too late. Microsoft was neck-deep into the launch of the two Surface products. That had much to do with why the two companies aren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye lately.
Microsoft Corporation has voiced it concerns about Intel’s current dominance before. AMD was still in the starting phases of its newly found processor favor back in 2015. With today’s Ryzen and Threadripper chips, the risen chip firm is now probably Microsoft’s new best choice. YEet AMD was not in Intel’s league back in 2015 and gadgets were considered lesser without Intel chip, and so Skylakes it was.
However, we later learned that Intel Skylakes were great performers through a Microsoft Corporation insider. The company only shifted the blame when it was actually the Surface team which messed up the quality of the 2015 Surface range. Thurrott’s sources claim that the real issue lay with custom Surface drivers and adjustments made by Microsoft.
That is all in the rear view for Microsoft now. The company’s device chief feels defeated that the improvement made to the Surface lineup were not considered. In his memo he states that the Surface team operates “tirelessly” to enhance the Surface experience. Panay says CR’s report did not consider all of that.
Consumer Reports quality issue
The CR survey, according to Panay, was probably skewed with overly unsatisfied Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 owners. Microsoft Corporation has amended a lot with those products and the more recent Surface releases even better. Unfortunately, those “improvements were not reflected in the result of this survey”.
Panos Panay reminds employees how seriously Microsoft takes device quality. He claims that buggy issues like an unresponsive display or delay in app launch are usually fixable in user settings. That is not what Windows company would consider a “failure”. This year alone has seen device return rates drop significantly, he highlights. Beyond that, its own consumer feedback shows that the Surface range is “in a much healthier place than noted by Consumer Reports.”
Indeed, it is unusual for the Surface lineup to get a bad reviews. The only sore point is that its latest thumbs down came from a widely trusted organization. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) now wants to tell its own story and rectify what it considers misinformation on Consumer Reports’ part.