Microsoft Says It Will Replace Defective Surface Tablet Covers

Microsoft Corp. said a small number of covers for its Surface tablet computer are prone to splitting after two weeks or less in users’ hands and that it’s replacing the defective ones.

The company is “aware of a small number of instances of material separation” of the cover accessory, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in an e-mailed statement. The cover serves a protective jacket for the Surface, the tablet computer released last month. “Microsoft makes every effort to ensure our customers receive a high quality product.”

Surface, which went on sale Oct. 26, represents Microsoft’s first foray into the computer-hardware market. The world’s largest software company built the device, which runs its new Windows 8 operating system, to operate as a touch-screen tablet that doubles as a small notebook computer.

Users can engage a stand to prop Surface on a table, then fold out the Touch Cover to use it as a notebook. The Surface starts at $499 for a 32-gigabyte tablet and the Touch Cover costs an additional $120. Microsoft also sells the two combined.

The defects with the Touch Cover, which users said had begun to split apart at the seams, were reported earlier on technology industry websites.

Shares of Microsoft climbed less than 1 percent at $28.83 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 11 percent this year.

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