Unusually attentive owners of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 might have noticed a partial, out of band firmware update for the Surface Pro 2 this weekend (Saturday, January 18). Mary Jo Foley reports on ZDnet that some users remarked on Twitter and the Surface Forums that MS pushed a 4.2 MB firmware update that day, well after this month’s Patch Tuesday on 1/14. Here’s a partial screen snippet from that Surface Forums posting:
Unusual to see updates issued over a weekend, more so to see a much-awaited fix trickled into the field sans fanfare.
Further investigation indicates that the firmware patch is not comprehensive, but seems to address the unscheduled wake and battery drain problem reported for the December, 2013, firmware patch released 12/10, then pulled later that month when users reported battery life problems following in its wake.
Foley contacted MS for comments about the update’s content and coverage and received this reply (quoted verbatim from her 1/19 story):
“This weekend we released an update that addresses the unexpected wake and battery drain behavior experienced by a small number of Surface Pro 2 customers who installed the December Windows Update. This should have no impact on customers who had not received the December update. We are working hard to deliver the rest of the December update to those customers who had not received it prior to it being removed from distribution.”
Also according to Foley, some users reported no problems with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, stylus/pen or the Type Cover 2 after the patch was installed, but that others indicated issues with cold booting with a microSD card in the card reader still showed “excessive CPU consumption issues.” It seems MS still has some firmware work to do for the Surface Pro 2, and there’s no word yet on when this firmware update will be pushed out through normal Windows Update channels. Stay tuned for more news as it becomes available.
[Note added 1/22/2014: Paul Thurrott has a must-read commentary on the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 firmware updates on his Supersite. Entitled "Surface Firmware Update Fracas," it's definitely worth a read, and adds more interesting details to this whole saga or debacle, if you agree with many owners' assessments of how MS has handled the whole situation since the inital update appeared on 12/10, only to be yanked from the site a week to ten days later... Find this story at http://windowsitpro.com/microsoft-surface/surface-firmware-update-fracas]
[Note added 2/12/2014: Indeed, MS did complete its promised round of Surface firmware updates (RT, Surface Pro, Surface 2, and Surface Pro 2) with the latest "Patch Tuesday" updates on 2/11. See this WinBeta.org story: "Microsoft rolls out firmware updates for Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2, fixes various issues." No confirmation yet that these fixes address the "wake and drain" problem or other issues reported by owners of various Surface tablet models.]