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January 20, 2014

New Surface Pro 2 Update to Fix Earlier Update, Start Chain of Further Updates

Back in December, an update to the Surface Pro 2's firmware came out that some users found to do more harm than good. A new update came out over the weekend, meanwhile, designed to fix some of those issues, and according to reports, it's not going to be the last one, either. Several more firmware updates are said to be in the works, and said updates may be coming sooner rather than later.

The whole thing, at last report, got its start back in November, when Microsoft (News - Alert) brought out a firmware update that was generally well-received, owing largely to the fact that it allowed for about 25 percent better battery life under certain conditions. This was due to the update's new feature that let the Surface Pro 2's Marvell (News - Alert) Wi-Fi chip go into a low-power state when not in use, driving down the power use needed and, in turn, improving the battery life.

However, a December update didn't offer such benefits, and reports describe a variety of unpleasant side effects. Several weren't even able to install the firmware update, and others who had described a range of conditions starting with the tablet no longer being able to fully charge, not showing a full charge when one was in place or should have been, and even a variety of issues related to sleep and wake functions.

It didn't take long for Microsoft to pull said update, and now, this update is geared toward those who did manage to get the update in before Microsoft pulled it. As such, it's not showing up on the official update history page, and some believe—since it's only really meant for those who were negatively impacted by the December update—this one may not show up on the history page at any point. The new update, meanwhile, is set to arrive over the course of several days, so those who were hit by the December update should be getting some relief soon.

Looking at the list of things that the December update was originally supposed to do, it's easy to see why people would be upset. The update was supposed to offer improvements in not only battery life, but also in system stability, color fidelity, two-finger trackpad use, and even in audio playback, once the device had been hooked to a Display Port 1.2 device. For such a promising update to be turned into what actually hit has to be galling to the user base that was hit by it, and the kind of thing that Microsoft really needed to fix as soon as possible.

Microsoft does not need this kind of trouble right now; it's been waging a somewhat ongoing war between Apple and the various Android (News - Alert) tablets for market share for some time now, and to develop a reputation for lack of reliability certainly wouldn't help. The faster Microsoft can fix this issue, the better its chances of holding or improving its position in the market will be. Hopefully, too much damage hasn't already been done, and Microsoft will be able to recover from this blow.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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