Microsoft Surface is Dead Last for Reliability

Microsoft Surface laptop computers sit on display during an event in New York. Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation of four of the laptops

"Due to its comparatively higher breakage rate, Microsoft laptops can not be recommended by Consumer Reports at this time", the publication notes. The news is headlined by a two-year problem report rate of 25%, suggesting that a quarter of all Surface owners will experience problems with their devices by their second year of ownership.

That finding applies to Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards, such as the new Surface Pro and the Surface Book, in addition to Surface laptops with clamshell designs. As such, this is the first year that Consumer Reports has had enough data to estimate predicted reliability for its laptops.

Consumer Reports is no longer recommending Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets. That prediction is based on surveying the company's own subscribers who own current Microsoft hardware, and collating details on any issues they might have encountered.

The Surface Pro reviewed well, but CR is pulling its recommendations from every product based on statistical analysis showing that Surface devices are suffering problems much more often than machines from other companies.

The problems experienced by users included issues at startup, freezing, and random shut downs, the release said. "Microsoft's real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports' breakage predictability", a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that "Microsoft Surface Pro is designed and built with performance and reliability in mind" but has not yet clarified the "reliability improvements" made within the past two or three years.

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Microsoft launched its first Surface tablet in 2012.

The case is created to meet U.S. Military drop-test standards, a goal that UAG prefers for most of its products. Of course, the nature of consumer tech is that something will probably go wrong for a subset of devices over the course of their typical use.

In earlier lab tests that measure factors such as display quality, battery life, speed and ergonomics, Surface devices were ranked highly by Consumer Reports.

Apple remains the most reliable laptop and tablet brand, according to Consumer Reports' survey.

Predictably, Microsoft is unhappy with the news.

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