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Microsoft, NFL release statements defending tablets

Houston Texans v New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LA - AUGUST 30: A New Orleans Saints player uses a Microsoft Surface tablet at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 30, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick said today that he’s no longer going to use the Microsoft Surface tablets that the NFL gives to coaches to use on the sidelines, saying he finds them unreliable. But the league and Microsoft say they are proud of the product.

“We respect Coach Belichick’s decision, but stand behind the reliability of Surface,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We continue to receive positive feedback on having Surface devices on the sidelines from coaches, players and team personnel across the league. In the instances where sideline issues are reported in NFL games, we work closely with the NFL to quickly address and resolve.”

The league, which has a relationship with Microsoft worth a reported $400 million, unsurprisingly was quick to say that relationship remains a strong one.

“Microsoft is an integral, strategic partner of the NFL and implementing their technology on our sidelines has increased the efficiency and speed of collaboration between coaches and players to an all-time high,” the NFL’s statement said. “Within our complex environment, many factors can affect the performance of a particular technology either related to or outside of our partner’s solutions. We continue to work with all of our partners to ensure the best systems are in place to most effectively assist the clubs in the execution of their game plan.”

Belichick, who threw a tablet in disgust in a sideline eruption this season, apparently has decided that no tablet is going to help him game plan.