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Sports Equipment Technology

Microsoft Trying To Educate NFL on Surface Tablet

October 17, 2014


Earlier this month, the NFL had to crack down on players and coaches who were wearing the wrong brand of headphone. Now Microsoft (News - Alert) has had to go out of its way to educate a few select NFL commentators when it comes to the Microsoft Surface. Microsoft paid a rather hefty $400 million fee in order to make the Surface the official tablet of the NFL. While the company hasn’t had a problem with players or coaches using the iPad instead, it appears NFL announcers aren’t quite sure what kinds of tablets are showing up on the sideline.

There have been a number of reports surfacing where an announcer will refer to the Surface, being used to review a play by a coach or player, an iPad or an “iPad like device.” Considering part of the reason Microsoft struck this deal with the NFL in the first place is because it wanted the Surface mentioned, being called an iPad is less than ideal. In reaction to these gaffes, Microsoft has started educating some broadcasters in order to get them to call the device by the right name.

"It's true, we have coached up a select few," a Microsoft spokesperson recently confirmed. "That coaching will continue to ensure our partners are well equipped to discuss Surface when the camera pans to players using the device during games."

In the past, the coaches and the quarterback would review a Polaroid picture of a play in order to study a particular formation. Today, the same players and coaches can look at a Surface tablet and get better feedback, because they can view numerous photos while changing the angle and the zoom. Despite this ease of use, it appears Microsoft needs to educate NFL players on the Surface as well. During one recent post-game press conference, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said the tablet worked great, but also called it a “knock-off iPad.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle