In case anyone didn’t notice, or hear the announcers on Sunday (January 24th), the Patriots lost all connectivity with their Microsoft Surface tablets on the sidelines at one point. The Microsoft reps stated that it was a connection issue and not the tablets themselves, but no one on the Broncos sidelines seemed to have any problems. Some would say this is karma kicking in on the Patriots, or just bad luck. Either way, it is bad luck for Microsoft.
“They’re having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface tablets,” CBS’ sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported during the game. “On the last defensive possession the Patriots’ coaches did not have access to those tablets to show pictures to their players. NFL officials have been working at it. Some of those tablets are back in use, but not all of them. A lot of frustration that they didn’t have them on that last possession.”
“Our team on the field has confirmed the issue was not related to the tablets themselves but rather an issue with the network,” a spokesperson said. “We worked with our partners who manage the network to ensure the issue was resolved quickly.”
Also, based on NFL rules, the officials did not have to turn off Denver’s tablets since all tablets and services were working at the start of the game. The rules state that if there is an issue at the beginning of the game, both teams cannot use the equipment. I am sure this rule is sure to change after this incident.