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Microsoft fights back against Consumer Reports’ Surface criticisms – should you be worried?

The influential Consumer Report has pulled its recommendation from all Microsoft Surface products.

Citing reliability issues, the site says a quarter of all Microsoft laptop and tablet owners will encounter issues within two years.

The change, which includes the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop devices, comes in light of feedback from subscriber surveys from the last few years.

“New studies conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center estimate that 25 percent of Microsoft laptops and tablets will present their owners with problems by the end of the second year of ownership,” the report reads.

Related: Microsoft Surface Laptop review

In a statement, Microsoft says Consumer Reports’ findings don’t match up to its own.

“Microsoft’s real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports’ breakage predictability,” a representative wrote.

“We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation.”

Microsoft’s Surface chief, Panos Panay, expands in a blog post:

“While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings. In the Surface team we track quality constantly, using metrics that include failure and return rates — both our predicted 1-2-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25 percent.”

Consumer Reports says its findings come from 90,741 individual responses to its surveys.

On the Surface…

However, we wouldn’t panic about this. The results are an estimate, and it’s not clear how many respondents actually owned Microsoft-branded devices.

Given the surveys ran from between 2014 and early 2017, it’s also impossible for the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptops to be included.

Plus, in our experiences with the range, we’ve experienced no distinct issues with reliability. Although this isn’t something that should be dismissed out of hand, we wouldn’t panic too much either.

Last year, Consumer Reports failed to give the new MacBook Pro range a ‘Recommended’ tag amid concerns over the battery life.

The site eventually U-turned after working with Apple on the perceived issue. Perhaps the same thing will happen here?

Have you experienced issues with your Surface device? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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