Move over, Peloton. Microsoft’s (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report tablet the Surface Pro is the latest consumer gadget to get some not entirely welcome publicity. But all publicity is good publicity, right?
After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 9-0 to the New Orleans Saints, quarterback Tom Brady threw a Surface Pro tablet over his shoulder. As you might expect, it quickly became a Twitter meme, according to Geek Wire, as some users called it the best throw of the entire game.
Microsoft is an official partner of the NFL, and coaches and players have been using it to go over plays since 2013. Surface has an overall low share of the personal computing market at 3.4%, versus Apple's (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report iPad’s 64.4%, according to market analysis company Enlyft.
A Peloton Moment?
Two weeks ago, the interactive fitness company Peloton was in the spotlight when its signature exercise bike was blamed for the death of (spoiler alert) of the character Mr. Big in “And Just Like That…,” HBO Max’s reboot of the “Sex and the City” franchise. Chris Noth, the actor who played the character later appeared in a rushed advertisement for Peloton, which was quickly pulled when multiple allegations of sexual harassment were made against Noth.
Microsoft Surface Gets Dissed Again
Microsoft expanded its deal with the NFL in 2020 to include not just Surface being used on sidelines, but also for teams to use Microsoft's Teams and Office 365. That followed a 2013 deal which led to the lesser-known Surface being the sideline table for NFL teams over the much more popular Apple iPad.
Despite the major financial commitment, Microsoft made to the NFL, Surface has not always been treated with respect by players and announcers as Business Insider detailed in a 2015 story. Those transgressions included then Chicago Bears quarterback calling the device "knock-off iPads." Announcer Al Michaels also called a Surface an iPad during a broadcast.
Now, Brady, who has won seven Super Bowls during his career, has put Surface back in the spotlight, and he's likely going to need a new one for next week's game.