Microsoft Leak: Post-Launch Fails With Two Surface Models May Have Led To Consumer Reports Downgrade – Fast Company

An internal Microsoft document about the reliability of the Surface surfaced on Sunday that didn’t immediately seem to help Microsoft’s case.

The document, acquired by longtime Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott, showed that in the three-month period just after the launch of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book in late 2015 and early 2016, Microsoft saw unusually high return rates for the products.

Thurrott recalls that in early 2016 Microsoft executives blamed the high return rates on Intel, the maker of the new Skylake processors used in the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. Thurrott remembers the executives calling the Skylake chips “buggy” at the time.

But the blame may have been misplaced. Thurrott:

Since then, however, another trusted source at Microsoft has provided with a different take on this story. Microsoft, I’m told, fabricated the story about Intel being at fault. The real problem was Surface-specific custom drivers and settings that the Microsoft hardware team cooked up.

So the leaked document paints a decidedly unflattering picture of the original build of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 and Microsoft’s initial comments about quality issues.

But the document also says something important about the Consumer Reports findings. The publication came under fire from some analysts Friday for downgrading a whole line of computers based on a survey for which it would provide precious little detail.

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