Surface Pro 2 owners to get firmware fix on 14 January

Microsoft Surface Pro 2
Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 Image: Microsoft



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7 January 2014 | 0

Microsoft support representatives have told Surface Pro 2 owners that a firmware update will be issued 14 January to remedy multiple problems that cropped up after they installed a similar update a month ago.

14 January is “Patch Tuesday,” when Microsoft releases its monthly security patches designed to quash vulnerabilities. The company also regularly serves up non-security fixes that day.

“Just got off a call with Surface support team and they confirmed that the new firmware will be released January 14,” said someone identified as Jackabite in a message on Microsoft’s online support forum Friday.

Others said they had been told to mark the date, too.

“I just did a chat with tech support and they also confirmed the January 14 firmware release will fix the issues,” wrote ro050408 later that same day.

Phra Mick Ratanapanyo chimed in Sunday: “Got off the phone with Microsoft Support today, confirmed 14 January … for the time being.”

Meanwhile, Jaxbot, who also claimed to have been given the 14 January date, cautioned users with, “Take it with [a grain of] salt.”

WinBeta was the first to report on the 14 January date cropping up in Microsoft’s support forum. Microsoft neither confirmed nor denied the date, telling the web site only that it would re-release the firmware update “as soon as possible,” the same vague timeline it gave Computerworld and others two weeks ago.

Microsoft was unavailable for comment at time of writing.

The company released the original update on 10 December — that month’s Patch Tuesday — but Surface Pro 2 owners began complaining almost immediately that their tablets were consuming battery power much faster than before, refusing to charge completely or declining to show charging progress, and exhibiting odd behaviour related to sleep mode.

A week after the firmware update was issued and installed by many Surface Pro 2 owners Microsoft pulled it from circulation.

Not all Surface Pro 2 tablets that received the 10 December update have exhibited the reported symptoms, according to owners commenting on the support forum.

While some were sanguine about the wait for a fix, viewing the problems as more inconveniences than deal breakers, many were increasingly frustrated. Several said that they’d exchanged or returned their tablets.

“The problem is that it’s been almost a month and no time frame,” said mattbeau. “I just returned mine.”

Firmware updates are especially hazardous if they go wrong, as the code stored on a device’s non-volatile memory — the “firmware” — is required to successfully boot the device and control its components before, during and after the operating system loads. A faulty firmware update can easily “brick” a device, or render it inoperable.


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