Leaked Microsoft memo reveals high Surface Book return rates

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While Panay didn't give specific return numbers, he did insist that "both our predicted 1-2-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25%", the figure Consumer Reports had based its decision on. Some Surface users feel Microsoft has been slow to publicly acknowledge these issues and not clear enough about plans to remedy them.

The Surface Book ultimately had a 17 per cent return rate after its late-2015 launch, while the Surface Pro 4's return rate was 16 per cent.

Panay and his team "worked tirelessly" to make sure that all bugs were ironed out, something that was seemingly not reflected in Consumer Reports' essay.

While Panay concedes that there were launch problems with some devices, he notes that return rates have "consistently decreased over the past 12 months". As of April 2017, the situation has improved significantly as return rates were below 5% for all of 2016 Surface devices included in the chart.

Consumer Reports pulled recommendations for the Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versions) and Surface Book (128GB and 512GB versions). Apparently, Microsoft's custom drivers and settings were the real sources of trouble. It claimed that the semiconductor giant's Skylake chips were to blame, rather than poor driver authoring on Microsoft's part. Lenovo was confused. No one was having any issues, he was told.

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According to Consumer Reports, users reported problems with the Surface devices freezing or shutting down without warning.

The patent titled, 'Cover of Device Acting as Antenna of the Device, ' has been created by Microsoft's Antenna and RF expert, Antti Karilainen, reported Deccan Chronicle.

"We take quality seriously", he says, "conducting rigorous reliability testing during development to forecast failure and return rates, which are then continually viewed against [real world data] post-launch". More forward-leaning products like a new Surface Hub, code-named Aruba, and a mobile device code-named Andromeda, were pushed back, in the former's case to 2019. The facts, if you will, that we can squeeze out of this communication.

Consumer Reports (CR) said in an article that it was removing its "recommended" status from four of Microsoft's Surface devices - Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB) and Surface Book (128GB and 256GB) - after its research found that 25 per cent of owners will experience problems in the first two years.

Two, that Microsoft's internal data shows that it essentially fixed those products. There is an interesting bit of speculation in the article about the fallout of this issue, it could be that this was the driving force behind Microsoft's sudden push to have Windows 10 run on ARM processors.

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