Microsoft drafts NFL stars to defend Surface – CNET
Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
This week, the Microsoft Surface became somewhat put-upon in the NFL.
Yes, a little like the San Francisco 49ers.
The tablet that the tech giant has worked so hard to advertise via the league received a monstrous nonendorsement from the NFL’s most famous coach, Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.
He said he’d had enough of it and that the constant breakdowns with the tablet were just too much for his sensitive in-game spirit.
Microsoft offered words of respect, while insisting that the tablets are revered by many in the NFL.
Now the company has issued a long, long blog post to expand on the Surface’s glories.
Published Friday and written by Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the Windows and Devices Group, the post declares that the images of in-game formations presented on the tablet arrive on the sideline 7 times faster than they did with the old method.
In what some see as a thinly veiled snipe at Belichick — who claimed that much of the NFL’s technology doesn’t work well — Mehdi said, “We know change can be hard and technology adoption typically has a growth curve.”
He added: “When teams enter a stadium each week, the IT teams assess power sources, network connectivity strength and availability, potential extreme weather conditions, and the range of tech familiarity and acumen of coaches and players.”
Some might surely translate this as, “Belichick’s a tech troglodyte, don’t you know?”
Mehdi’s post is also adorned by quotes from celebrated NFL quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Drew Brees.
These quotes read as if they’re the result of 14 caffeinated PR people contributing a few words each.
Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mehdi described the challenge of integrating tech into the NFL each week as “truly one of the toughest IT jobs on one of the world’s biggest stages.”
But if you’re spending a reported $400 million to have the NFL use your product, and one of the league’s top coaches trashes the gadget, it might take more than a defensive blog post to persuade everyone of your product’s worth.
Still, it may be that Microsoft’s NFL campaign is having some positive effect in the market. Last week, the company announced that first-quarter Surface sales jumped 38 percent year on year.
Perhaps Brees and Wilson are very good salesmen.