- A quarter of Microsoft laptops and tablets will incur issues within two years, according to Consumer Reports, which downgraded four of Microsoft's laptops from "recommended" on Thursday. The four devices include the Microsoft Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versions) and Microsoft Surface Book (128GB and 512GB versions).
- Consumer Reports based the decision on feedback from subscribers who bought 90,741 new Microsoft tablets and laptops between 2014 and the start of 2017. Consumer Reports says it cannot recommend the Microsoft laptops or tablets because of poor reliability compared to other brands.
- Microsoft, however, defended the reliability of its laptops and tablets in a statement to Consumer Reports. "Microsoft’s real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports' breakage predictability." The company said the findings don't "reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation."
Microsoft has emphasized hardware and its appeal to the enterprise. For example, the company recently launched a hardware as a service program with its Surface devices, enabling device upgrades every 18 months.
For CIOs purchasing laptops for mobile workers, durability is a key consideration. The report is a hit on Microsoft's device reputation, especially since the company's hardware sales have already depreciated in the last year.
However, this is Consumer Reports' first in-depth review of Microsoft devices because of the tech provider's recent entrance into the laptop market. But other types of laptops with clamshell designs and/or detachable screens have be criticized for durability as well. While users have called for more mobility, detachable or snap-on screens that undergo heavy use can wear out faster than traditional laptops.