Microsoft Turns to Its Paid Endorsers After Surface Blowback From Coach Belichick

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Microsoft went on the offensive Friday with testimonials to its Surface tablet, the official tablet of the NFL, three days after New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he was done using it at games.

To show that the Surface is indeed a production machine among NFL athletes and coaches, Microsoft quoted its paid endorsers in a blog post extolling the device.

"Every second counts and having Microsoft Surface technology on sidelines allows players and coaches to analyze what our opponents are trying to do in almost real time," said Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who recently appeared in ads for the Surface and for the Xbox, in the blog post from Microsoft. "Plus, the ability to zoom in on full color photos and really get a look at defensive alignments helps tremendously when trying to make adjustments on the fly."

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who appeared in a Microsoft Surface commercial with his son, echoed Mr. Wilson's comments.

"You can imagine with a 15-play drive, there would be like 40 pages worth of stuff," Mr. Brees said. "The staple wouldn't go all the way through, and photos would be dangling and falling out, and then you'd have two plays and have to go back out on the field."

"Now you walk to the sideline and it's seamless," he added. "With Surface, I can make plays instantaneously."

Mr. Belichick, however, doesn't think the Surface delivers an instantaneous experience. "I just can't take it anymore," he told a room full of reporters earlier this week. "They're just too undependable for me. I'm going to stick with pictures as several of our other coaches do as well because there isn't enough consistency in the performance of the tablets, so I just can't take it anymore."

In fairness, Microsoft has rejuvenated the laptop-tablet market, and the Surface computer continues to perform for the company: Surface revenue in the quarter ending Sept. 30 increased 38% year-over-year, to $926 million from $672 million, Microsoft said during its earnings call to investors Thursday.