Consumer Reports just un-recommended Microsoft's Surface range

The Microsoft logo on a building in Issy-les-Moulineaux

Those products, along with the rest of the Surface lineup, were supposed to help Microsoft eat away at the laptop and tablet market share (both revenue- and shipment-wise), which is now dominated by Apple.

This move by Consumer Reports applies to Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards, such as the new Surface Pro released in June and the Surface Book, as well as the company's Surface Laptops with conventional clamshell designs. Anyone who has been following the Surface brand for a few years will know that Skylake chips in the last generation hardware created quite a few headaches for Microsoft which likely had an impact on the survey conducted by Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports is specifically stripping the 128GB and 256GB versions of the Surface Laptop and the 128GB and 512GB versions of the Surface Book of their coveted "recommended" status.

Common problems cited include freezing, unexpected shutdowns, and issues with the touchscreen, among others. The non-profit organization said that the removal of that designation followed a survey of 90,000 tablet and laptop users, which found that an estimated 25% of Surface owners would experience "problems by the end of the second year of ownership". Microsoft, on the other hand, is less reliable than most other brands. That being said, Consumer Reports carries a lot of weight with its ratings and this report will likely have a serious impact on sales.

Surface is designed and built with performance and reliability in mind.

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Though it shouldn't go down without a fight, Microsoft is up against some pretty stiff competition with this Consumer Reports study. "Microsoft's real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports' breakage predictability", a spokesperson said.

Microsoft said in a statement that it doesn't "believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners' true experiences".

Consumer Reports said that responses to its annual survey revealed that consumers weren't pleased with their Microsoft products during the lifetime of ownership.

In most of these instances, issues consumers have reported are linked to software issues, and not hardware issues.