Microsoft's tablet partnership with the National Football League has not always been smooth.
After Microsoft struck a reported $400 million deal in 2013 with the NFL to have its Surfaces exclusively on team sidelines for reviewing plays, TV commentators kept referring to them as "iPads." At the time, it was said that networks were constantly reminding their talkers that the Surface looks nothing like an iPad and should therefore be referred to by its actual name.
Microsoft suffered another public black eye during the AFC championship game Sunday between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots when the tablets on the Patriots' sidelines apparently failed.
"They're having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface tablets, CBS' sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported during the game. "On the last defensive possession the Patriots' coaches did not have access to those tablets to show pictures to their players. 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 on that last possession."
The Patriots' tablets were soon restored to working order after the brief interruption, which a Microsoft spokesman blamed on a network connectivity issue.