Surface may be the “official tablet of the NFL,” but a situation during the AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots isn’t the kind of product awareness Microsoft is trying to build by outfitting teams with its slates.
“On the Patriots’ sideline here, they’re having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface tablets,” reported Evan Washburn of CBS early in the second quarter. “That last defensive possession, the Patriots’ coaches did not have access to those tablets to show the pictures to the players. The NFL officials have been working at it. Some of those tablets are back in use, but not all of them. A lot of frustration that they didn’t have them that last possession.”
“That last possession” resulted in a Broncos score.
Denver, which is hosting the game, reportedly didn’t have problems with its Surface tablets. Another sideline reporter spoke with the NFL which said it didn’t need to shut down the Broncos’ tablets as only New England was having problems, and it was after kickoff. The same reporter also talked to a Microsoft Surface representative who said that the Patriots are using hard wires to “keep [the tablets] going.”
Twitter erupted with reaction, some even dubbing the situation “Tabletgate.”
We’ve asked Microsoft for comment, including what kind of a resolution is in the works, though outside of business hours we may not hear back right away.