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Microsoft Handhelds

Microsoft Surface Touch Cover 'Splits Within Days' 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the make-like-a-banana dept.
An anonymous reader points out a report at the Guardian of a potential problem for early adopters of the Microsoft Surface tablet. The Touch Cover is one of the available protective covers for the device; it acts as a keyboard, and has both a gyroscope and an accelerometer on board. Unfortunately, some users have found that the edges of the Touch Cover have split open after only a few days of use. "The defect is identical in each case: the cover ... begins to split at its seam where the device attaches magnetically to the main computer. [One developer] was told to return his Touch Cover to Microsoft for a replacement, and Microsoft has been swapping faulty covers for users where it has retail stores. It's unclear whether the problems that people have encountered are due to a faulty batch or are a subtle problem that will become more apparent as more people use it for longer — but the fact that users in the US and the UK have reported the problem suggests that it is not isolated to a single manufacturing batch."
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Microsoft Surface Touch Cover 'Splits Within Days'

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  • I would say that this story might be a bit over-sensationalist. I have Surface and the touch cover and it's working well. Actually, the whole thing is much better than Android based tablets or iPad. It just works, and you have Windows underneath.
    • by imagined.by (2589739) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:27AM (#41948509)

      I would say that this story might be a bit over-sensationalist.

      Well, now that Microsoft wants to compete with Apple, they'll have to deal with over-sensationalist news as well.

      Let me be the first to suggest "Covergate". ;)

      • by dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @07:20AM (#41948643)
        You guys, stop Microsoft cover bashing (then at least it will hold together at the seams)
        • by Cryacin (657549) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @08:14AM (#41948779)
          You have to say, good customer service. At least they didn't say the users were just doing it wrong.
          • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @01:50PM (#41950507)

            Every manufacturer does silent replacements for broken products. You a can only reasonably say that Microsoft has "good customer service" over this if they issue a total product recall before this becomes a major media issue.

            (as a side note; it's pretty obvious the shills mod each other up within seconds at the start of an article being posted - doesn't this seem like pretty clear moderator abuse which Slashdot should stamp on)

            • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @04:18PM (#41951487)

              No, not every manufacturer. Not Apple, Microsoft's competition.

              http://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/19/blogger-victorious-over-apple-in-small-claims-case-on-nvidia-gpu-failures/
              It seems that the actual article is down at the moment, but apple actually sent two lawyers to court, and tried to file a counter suit against a man even though Nvidia would be paying the actual cost of the repair.

              So no, not every manufacturer. Microsoft is actually pretty great at customer service in that sense.

              It was the same thing with the xbox 360s, if you had an xbox 360 that was 3 years old or less and had the most common hardware failure, it got replaced. Microsoft caught a ton of flack though, because their agreement to replace all these xboxes actually brought more attention to the story.

              I had three(yes, 3) original playstations that didn't last 3 years without a hardware failure. I also had a PS2 that failed in 3.5 years after receiving maybe 1/10th of the use my xbox 360 received. Original nintendos were notoriously unreliable at reading cartridges. Nobody talks about those screwups though, meanwhile here's Microsoft replacing xbox 360s left and right, replacing all these touch covers, and people treat it as a negative. At least they're showing good faith to make it right.

              • by Josuah (26407)

                The Xbox 360 red ring of death (RRoD) fiasco had a very high failure rate (relatively speaking) at a very high cost to Microsoft ($1B USD) and they originally denied any manufacturing/design flaw. The 3 year replacement program was only established about 1.5 years after release, when they finally acknowledged the problem.

                You are perhaps an unlucky outlier of hardware failures (perhaps you should be checking your gaming environment) but attempting to paint the Xbox 360 failure rate as comparable to the failu

          • You have to say, good customer service. At least they didn't say the users were just doing it wrong.

            New products have teething problems. Issues such as this (remember the cracked glass issue with Apple) will be resolved. That is one reason why I never want to be first in. The second is that you pay more for being first, a reward for your obsession.

      • by rainmouse (1784278) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @07:54AM (#41948725)

        Well, now that Microsoft wants to compete with Apple, they'll have to deal with over-sensationalist news as well.

        Though I suspect they may find themselves in a patent infringement lawsuit regarding this.

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          Though I suspect they may find themselves in a patent infringement lawsuit regarding this.

          Yep. You can bet Apple is just waiting for the "right moment" to start suing.

          • Yep. You can bet Apple is just waiting for the "right moment" to start suing.

            Don't expect much. Microsoft and Apple have long had a reciprocal patent licensing agreement. Basically they are acting in a patent cartel together to try to get rid of other competition from the market. When Microsoft brings out it's new phones I guess you can expect that there will also be a "right way" and a "wrong way" to hold it too. (As erroneus would have it "the grip of death")

        • No, you're confused. That would be a trademark issue.

      • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @08:19AM (#41948793) Homepage

        This is Microsoft we're talking about. There is the obgligatory "...of death" which must be added to every Microsoft based failure.

      • by bfandreas (603438)

        I would say that this story might be a bit over-sensationalist.

        Well, now that Microsoft wants to compete with Apple, they'll have to deal with over-sensationalist news as well.

        Let me be the first to suggest "Covergate". ;)

        Sorry, you don't get to make up a name. Since a keyboard and MS are involved A20 Gate is assigned by default.

      • by dudpixel (1429789)

        Well, now that Microsoft wants to compete with Apple, they'll have to deal with over-sensationalist news as well.

        Let me be the first to suggest "Covergate". ;)

        Surely apple has a patent for that!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:50AM (#41948575)

      Of course they're defective.

      Which part of "Microsoft Product" did you not understand?

      • by dudpixel (1429789)

        Actually, Microsoft branded hardware is usually pretty good. I've long been a fan of the MS Natural Keyboard line, and their intellimouse products were a global favourite at one time also.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I would say that this story might be a bit over-sensationalist.

      The implication being there is some level of sensationalism that is acceptable?

    • You're holding it wrong. Not that big of a deal.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @08:14AM (#41948777)

      I agree. As a busy, young, professional, and I kept finding that my Android and Apple devices were holding back my potential to synergize my cloud potential at work, but it also got in the way of my X-treme lifestyle when I'm not. After a few days of using my new Microsoft® Surface, it magically unleashed my creativity and X-tremeness and earning potential with it's radical Microsoft® Windows® technology, and I was offered the job of CEO. The styling and unique VaporMg (patent pending) casing caught the eye of a few supermodels today, while I was doing some Xtreme mountainbike-hang-gliding-surfing-rock-climbing-base-jumping, which is a new sport made possible only by thoughtful design and precision craftsmanship that make Surface a joy to behold. They were aroused by the split touch cover, and told me they'd be my harem as long as I never to get it changed.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I find your disruptive ideas fascinating and would like to syndicate your newsletter into my social media platform.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Son, what you are bringing to the table would incentivize a revolution, with its best of breed value-add. Going forward, the only way you could virtualize enough agility pull something like this off, would be to Unleash The Power(TM) of Microsoft® Surface® with Windows© technology.

          I think you might just have what it takes, you crazy son of a bitch. Welcome aboard.

      • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @10:05AM (#41949085)
        This unbiased testimony to the awesomeness of Surface with Windows RT prompted me to buy one for every member of my family and a homeless guy. The new EZ-tear away cover technology saves me time and those precious moments can mean the difference between life and death. If you care about your family, Surface is the tablet for you.
      • I agree. As a busy, young, professional, and I kept finding that my Android and Apple devices were holding back my potential to synergize my cloud potential at work, but it also got in the way of my X-treme lifestyle when I'm not. After a few days of using my new Microsoft® Surface, it magically unleashed my creativity and X-tremeness and earning potential with it's radical Microsoft® Windows® technology, and I was offered the job of CEO. The styling and unique VaporMg (patent pending) casing caught the eye of a few supermodels today, while I was doing some Xtreme mountainbike-hang-gliding-surfing-rock-climbing-base-jumping, which is a new sport made possible only by thoughtful design and precision craftsmanship that make Surface a joy to behold. They were aroused by the split touch cover, and told me they'd be my harem as long as I never to get it changed.

        I love how you're promoting X. That enables users to add SupaDupaMiles®-sky-jumping to their Xtreme mountainbike-hang-gliding-surfing-rock-climbing-base-jumping LifeStyle®! "Rock" on!

        :-)

    • by DrXym (126579) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @08:55AM (#41948879)

      It just works, and you have Windows underneath.

      If you have the RT version the only thing you have underneath is disappointment and tears.

      • by bfandreas (603438)
        If you dismantle the whole thing then you might find a Tegra3 soc. The layer of tears and disappointment is sandwiched between the gorgeous exterior and the hardware.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Wow, now that is funny. In the same way that an iPad or a Nexus 7 is just disappointment and tears. In other words, it is not that at all. The RT version is the true device - it is designed to be a competitor to lesser non-pc (content consumption) devices like the Nexus 7 and iPad. Don't get me wrong - those devices are great. But they can't do everything a PC can. Neither can RT. They do about the same stuff, allowing for how few apps are in the app store for RT at this early point. Are they late to market
        • by DrXym (126579)
          The GP said "you have Windows underneath". I just pointing out in a humorous way that he / she didn't.

          Also before you think I think Android is all sweetness and light, I don't. I hate the mouse and keyboard support in Android and think its one area that Windows gets right and Android sucks balls at. But conversely just because I like it for that reason doesn't mean I can overlook RT's shortcomings of which there are many. It's half an OS and not the good half.

          I expect that I'll own a proper Windows 8 ta

          • by green1 (322787)

            As someone who frequently uses both a keyboard and mouse with his android tablet, I'm curious in what way you think Android screwed that up and Microsoft got it right?

            • by DrXym (126579)
              Because it doesn't work very well. What happens if you ctrl+shift+cursor in some random app in Android? Pot luck. Keyboard accelerators? Pot luck. Proper focus in fields? Pot luck. What happens if you mouse over a link or a text field in Android? Nothing because the cursor shapes provide no contextual feedback to the user. The only mouse effects I've noticed are occasional sites where the a:hover and mouse events kick in. What happens if you drag a selection of text with the mouse in Android? Pot luck becau
              • by green1 (322787)

                ummm... and how does windows do any of this better?

                ctrl+shift+cursor in windows does something different in every application,

                I'm not even sure what a keyboard accelerator is?

                Focus is one thing that Windows does worse than any other OS on the planet. I hate random apps gaining or loosing focus of their own accord all the time. As for on Android, it's rare to have more than one app or dialog box on the screen at a time, however on those rare occasions, clicking seems to set focus where it should be every tim

                • by DrXym (126579)
                  Keyboard and mice have been the defacto standard for text entry on Windows since forever. Windows 8 and RT support these inputs extremely well and apps get a lot of default behaviour for free, including some gestures and have a sufficient user base to explicitly test with these inputs.

                  As I said this stuff is not adequate in Android and it is obvious by simple comparison. I don't see why you need to defend it when I provided so many examples of its failings. I like Android but I see no need to sweep its ba

                  • by green1 (322787)

                    I'm defending it because all but one of the points you made are either also there in windows, or flat out wrong.

                    I even admitted you were right on the one issue, and that's the lack of mouse-over support. I'd love that to be added.

                    I'm not trying to sweep anything under the rug, I too want android to get stronger, but they do that by focusing on real problems, not ones that are made up and don't exist.

                    As for "Keyboard and mice have been the defacto standard for text entry on Windows since forever" the same co

      • by Anonymous Coward

        RT is about as fully featured as Win8 home. The only things I'm missing from pro are IPSec and domain joining.

        MMC.exe is there, gpedit.msc is there, it's all there, save for business-class features and running crap that probably should be running on a tablet anyways (because battery life is neat)

        • by DrXym (126579)
          It's fully featured in the "doesn't run any software except MS products" sense. I strongly suspect the only reason there is a desktop at all is because the MS Office group came to the Windows 8 group with a big frowny face and said they couldn't port their horrifically complex app suite in time. I don't blame them. So RT included a desktop kludge to support MS Office and maybe a handful of other tools and no other reason. I don't expect it to survive when MS Office gets a proper port.
        • No, it isn't. Cannot install browsers other than IE, which makes it completely worthless.
    • "It just works, and you have Windows underneath."

      Make up your mind.

  • So what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:33AM (#41948525)

    They're just holding it wrong!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rogerborg (306625)

      Did you read the "some users" link before cracking wise? That's exactly what they are saying: don't use it the way you see us using it in the adverts and you'll be fine.

      Jesus wept, the cognitive dissonance in there makes Apple fanbois look like balanced professional reviewers. After one victim reported getting a replacement which itself split within 24 hours (holding it wrong...) the response was "it is a problem with the accessory not the tablet". Well, I guess that makes it all right then.

      Good news

      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

        by benjymouse (756774) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @08:06AM (#41948761)

        That's exactly what they are saying: don't use it the way you see us using it in the adverts and you'll be fine.

        Citation needed. Hint: You seem to be confusing one user's suggestion for a Microsoft statement.

        • by Rogerborg (306625)
          Good point. Tell you what, how about you buy one and let us know how that works out for you?
          • "Good point. Tell you what, how about you buy one and let us know how that works out for you?"

            Why do you think I would have any motivation to report to somebody who associates appreciation for a superior product with cognitive dissonance?

            Cognitive dissonance, maybe?

      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @08:54AM (#41948877) Homepage

        I bet the only people who get this problem are the same people who fold paperback books completely back on themselves when they read them.

        • I bet the only people who get this problem are the same people who fold paperback books completely back on themselves when they read them.

          .........I just worked out why my ereader screens keep breaking.

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          I bet the only people who get this problem are the same people who fold paperback books completely back on themselves when they read them.

          Those people deserve everything they get. Especially if they do it to library books.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by aliquis (678370)

      Yeah, I thought that too.

      Phones with no reception and tablet and keyboard solutions which doesn't work as they should.

      Sounds like the rest of the world is finally catching up to the Linux desktop! Now all they need to do is to get the same mentality. "IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT YOU'RE FREE TO BUILD YOUR OWN / FIX IT YOURSELF!"

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Sounds like the rest of the world is finally catching up to the Linux desktop!

        Is that a troll or a joke? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

        • by aliquis (678370)

          A little about each. I don't take Slashdot too seriously. That would be hard. And I like joking. I don't like to be moderated troll but I won't care enough to not joke about it :)

          I run a Linux desktop myself atm :)

      • "If you don't like it!"

        Steve would not like that.

        (/. would not let me actually quote you... it gave me a "lameness filter" error. Personally, I would not have been so harsh.)

    • folding it wrong

    • They're just holding it wrong!

      What's that, they're just beholding it wrong?
       

    • by PPH (736903)

      ... Now Apple is going to sue!

    • by antdude (79039)

      Did Steve Balllmer (can't be Jobs since he's dead) say that? If so, then where's the proof? :P

    • by Waccoon (1186667)
      They're just testing it wrong.
  • by siddesu (698447) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:33AM (#41948527)
    I just glued the screen of my Nexus 7 so that it doesn't squeak, replaced the lens of my iPhone 5 to avoid the purple flare, I'll fix this too. Bring it on!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    One article claims 2 users have reported this. The linked thread mentions three. I'm sure that they're may be more, but three reports of problems doesn't seem like a reason to declare a universal flaw yet.

    • Re:2 or 3 reports? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by benjymouse (756774) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @08:25AM (#41948809)

      One article claims 2 users have reported this. The linked thread mentions three. I'm sure that they're may be more, but three reports of problems doesn't seem like a reason to declare a universal flaw yet.

      The position where the cover has been splitting in these instances does seem to be a position under great stress. It is not inconceivable that it is a widespread problem.

      I have been using the Surface extensively with the cover folded back behind the unit (the position putting the most stress on that seam) and mine haven't split (yet). But examining the cover I can definitively see how it could happen, if the cover is not perfectly glued/molded. Not looking forward to confirming this problem :-)

      That said, it is a wonderful device. The touch cover really *is* nice. Folded back it offers a good non-slipping grip on the device. Having an (almost) real keyboard just by dropping the cover on a table is so much more convenient than using the screen keyboard.

      • "I can definitively see how it could happen, if the cover is not perfectly glued/molded."

        Then it should be screwed. And if not, maybe it's screwed. I guess we'll have to see.

    • One article claims 2 users have reported this. The linked thread mentions three. I'm sure that they're may be more, but three reports of problems doesn't seem like a reason to declare a universal flaw yet.

      This comment you're reading adds another 174,389 to the numbers. There. Now can we go back to bashing poorly tested and hardware with a bad choice of parts vendors, please?

  • by PixetaledPikachu (1007305) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @06:47AM (#41948565)
    They have been replacing RROD-ed Xbox360 left and right since releasing it to the market, and it took them 2 to 3 generation for them to solve overheating problem. So expect the cover problem to be resolved at least sometime next year
    • by SomePgmr (2021234)

      It's possible some of them are just defective, though getting two in a row that have the problem suggests a real flaw.

      I have a first generation Kindle Fire, and a bunch of those came out faulty with noticeable screen ghosting. Amazon just replaced them until you got a good one and dealt with the issue in the background.

      I'm sure someone at Microsoft either knows or is tasked with finding out if this is a design or manufacturing issue. They can't afford for this to go too sideways on them.

    • "So expect the cover problem to be resolved at least sometime next year"

      And what about their stock. Eh?

  • by Edzilla2000 (1261030) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @07:18AM (#41948633)

    So, how does that work? You go in with your faulty cover, you leave with a new user? Do you get to choose your user?

  • It's OK! (Score:3, Funny)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @07:50AM (#41948715)
    It's OK! Users with this problem just have to reboot the tablet and it will be fixed.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Gosh, it took them long enough to come out with a new product, you would think they would of tested it by now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      This is Microsoft. They are testing it as we speak. What did you think users were for?
      • This is Microsoft. They are testing it as we speak. What did you think users were for?

        Aw, snap!

        I'd mod this up if I didn't comment already.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Billly Gates (198444)

        Which is percisely why I am sticking with Windows 7 and Office 2010. MS is still used to being a monopoly where they do not have to worry about their image shattered with a bad product release. Just make it better next time and eventually it will take over.

        IE, Windows, NT, and even Office, were not overnight sellers and did suck. It seems MS is like the linux kernel with releases of hardware and software where new exciting but not fully baked ideas need to get rushed out. Sucks? Consumers tell us how and we

  • by PPH (736903) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:06PM (#41950629)

    ... accounted for different use cases [youtube.com].

  • Seriously? They put inertial sensors in an add-on instead of in the device itself? I guess in the PC world you never know what hardware configuration people have and they wanted to carry that over.... dumb.
    • Seriously? They put inertial sensors in an add-on instead of in the device itself? I guess in the PC world you never know what hardware configuration people have and they wanted to carry that over.... dumb.

      The sensors are so that the Surface device (not the cover) can figure out when you fold the cover back. They also assist the screen orientation logic. For instance, when you attach the cover, the keyboard and trackpad will be active until you fold it back past apx 200 degrees (0 degrees being fully closed). After that the Surface will assume that you are folding the cover back and will disable the keyboard and trackpad so that you do not inadvertently press the keys when holding .

      When the keyboard *is* acti

  • Loose Microsoft tiles eventually peel off, and break. Welcome to the hardware edition to Windows 8!

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