Back in December 2013, Microsoft rolled out a firmware update for the Surface Pro 2 that left users with quickly depleting battery resources. The update was intended to enhance the second generation Surface Pro device but instead caused problems for owners at a time when Microsoft was looking for seasonal acceptance.
Ironically one of the intended fixes for the December update was improved battery conservation. Also among the enhancements, Microsoft included improved system stability, better Wi-Fi connectivity including for wireless display, color enhancements, upgraded trackpad usage for two-finger manipulation, and enriched audio for the Display Port 1.2 devices.
Once owners started complaining about battery resources being consumed at an alarming rate after the update, Microsoft silently pulled the firmware. Customers have been waiting for a fix and the firmware to rerelease. It was assumed that the fixed update would release during January 2014’s first Patch Tuesday. Patch Tuesday came and went and the only Surface update made available was for the first generation Surface Pro.
As the weekend approached, owners of Surface Pro 2 devices started noticing a new, unannounced update was available for installation. While the Surface Pro 2 update history page has not been updated, it appears that the long lost, much anticipated Surface Pro 2 update is now back on the rails. Users are reporting that the installation is successful and the battery consumption issues have been fixed.
As silently as it was removed, it has been silently reinstated.
There’s no official word from Microsoft at this point, and no idea if the company will just leave the fix labeled as a December 2013 update on the history update page, so we’ll have to wait and see how that all works out. It could also be that Microsoft intended the update to release with the regularly scheduled updates, but just that the Surface Pro 2 update bits simply didn’t make it to the company’s servers in time.
2013 was a year riddled with update woes for Microsoft. As we’ve reported here on Windows IT Pro almost monthly, customers have been inundated each month with a slew of updates that heap additional work on IT Pros as they sort out Microsoft’s mistakes. Many customers are worried that Microsoft’s quality testing processes of yesteryear have been overlooked, forgotten, or just mismanaged.
January’s Patch Tuesday was probably the most kind in a long while. There were very few complaints, and really the Surface Pro 2 update actually hails from the last update cycle in 2013. Let’s hope that the Surface Pro 2 update fix is truly a sign that Microsoft is attempting to clean up the system and make 2014 the year that the company fixed the entire process.
UPDATE: Per an update from Mary Jo Foley, this current patch is only to fix those affected by the botched December 2013 update. A fully fixed update will be available sometime soon.