Microsoft delivers August firmware, driver updates for Surface RT, Pro

Microsoft delivers August firmware, driver updates for Surface RT, Pro

Summary: Microsoft is making available firmware and driver updates for its Surface RT and Surface Pro devices as part of its August Patch Tuesday bundle.

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As it has done multiple times in previous months, Microsoft is rolling out new firmware and feature updates for its Surface RT and Surface Pro devices as part of its Patch Tuesday bundle.

surfaceprovolume

The August updates for Surface RT are for Windows RT 8.0 devices. In other words, these are not updates for those running the Windows RT 8.1 preview bits. The RT 8.0 updates include:

  • A Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware update that optimizes the audio experience at low volumes and removes a perceived pulsing in audio volume for some content
  • An update to system drivers that enhance stability and reliability

The August updates for Surface Pro also are for those running Windows 8 (and not 8.1 preview). There's just one update this month:

  • A UEFI and System Aggregator (SAM) firmware update that enhances system stability, reliability, reduces power consumption, and improves touch latency with the touchpad on the Surface Type Cover and Surface Touch Cover

By the way, Microsoft did release four updates for the Windows 8.1 preview as part of today's Patch Tuesday, as Pureinfotech.com notes. Even though the Softies didn't mention these in their update history pages for Surface RT and Pro, I see my Surface RT running the 8.1 preview now has five updates to install.

Just a reminder: With ARM-based Surface RTs, automatic updating is always on. With the Intel-based Pros, Windows turns on automatic update during setup unless users decide to turn it off. (If you do so, you won't be notified when firmware updates are available.) Even if automatic updating is turned on, users can opt to proactively grab the firmware updates before they receive notification of their availability using Windows Update on their devices via these steps.

Microsoft officials previously told me that users of non-Surface Windows RT devices also can and should get updates (firmware and otherwise). "OEMs can (and are) providing any needed firmware or driver updates using Windows Update. These updates are targeted to specific Windows RT models. Recommended OS updates are available to all Windows RT devices at the time they are published. End-user settings will determine whether they are installed automatically," a Microsoft spokesperson told me a while back.

Microsoft patched a total of 23 vulnerabilities in Windows, IE and Exchange as part of today's Patch Tuesday. 

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Tablets, ARM, PCs, Windows 8

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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25 comments
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  • There's one thing sure

    We can't blame Microsoft with updates of the Surface RT. This device has been update alot from the beginning and it is now a far better product than it was from start.
    Maxime Tremblay
    • Indeed...

      It runs a LOT better now than it did at launch, and 8.1 is a big improvement too (aside from obvious beta bugs).
      GoodThings2Life
    • updates

      People have misconception that updates are bad. I take the contrary view. I would rather see monthly free updates than see them saved for a paid upgrade once per year packaged as a new version of software.
      frankwick
  • Microsoft delivers August firmware, driver updates for Surface RT, Pro

    What for?

    Just let it die a natural death and be done with it.

    End Of Story
    Over and Out
    • Not end of story by any means...

      There are a few of us who have bought the Surface RT and find it to be useful. I'm currently running the 8.1 Preview on mine. There are some gotchas with the Preview, so I'm hoping that this latest round of updates fixes the few things that don't work quite right.

      If your use-case doesn't match what the Surface (RT or Pro) does, then no one is forcing you to buy one or use one. In my case, however, it was useful with Windows 8 RT on it, and it seems more useful now that it's running 8.1 RT. I bought my Surface for purely practical reasons, as did my wife. It's been productive in those areas where a tablet is a better fit than a full laptop, and that includes both media consumption as well as creation. I'm looking forward to upgrading to the RTM version of Windows 8.1 RT when it's released.
      Den2010
    • Enough said delivers another sensless post

      as the fear within him swells.

      Just let your brain die a natural death and be done with it.

      Oh wait, it already has.

      End of Story.
      William Farrel
  • I kinda feel that way...

    ...about Android.
    jumbledmess
  • Just a heads up...

    I'm not seeing the firmware update for Surface Pro appear on my 8.1 Preview install, and come to think of it, I don't recall seeing one last month either (will have to check update history).
    GoodThings2Life
    • Only for 8.0

      According to the story, only Surface running 8.0 gets the new firmware.
      toddbottom3
      • So...

        What does that mean for the people testing their product? They're going to be left high and dry if they're running into the problems that the firmware update is supposed to fix? Because I definitely want my RT to get the fixes...
        Michael Alan Goff
        • I suspect...

          ...they figure it's unsupported to run RTM-validated firmware updates on a beta OS platform and that we'd get them at a later date.

          I just checked OS history and sure enough the June update was delivered to my Surface in mid-July (and there was no July update for Pro).
          GoodThings2Life
        • Chances are ...

          ... that this firmware update is already included in the 8.1 Preview or it's coming in the RTM release of 8.1.
          bitcrazed
          • I really hope it's coming

            because I doubt it'd have been in the preview, since the preview was released at the end of June.
            Michael Alan Goff
      • Thanks!

        I overlooked that bit of info when reading the article. I appreciate you pointing it out! :)
        GoodThings2Life
  • Microsoft delivers August firmware, driver updates for Surface RT, Pro

    If Microsoft is still updating these devices its not as dead as ZDNet would want us to believe. Microsoft is always supporting their products so good for them.
    Loverock-Davidson
    • surface rt Mainstream Support at least until 2017

      microsoft have stated they will support surface rt at least until 2017.

      support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/default.aspx?LN=en-us&x=22&y=6&p1=16971
      Smalahove
  • Audio Fix

    Finally, the pulsating audio issue is fixed!

    For those who don't know about it, it is a regression introduced about 3 months ago when a firmware update increased the volume output. After this day, audio output was somewhat pulsating when listened at volume below 10.

    The support for Surface has been incredible from day one. Very good track record here.
    TheCyberKnight
    • Good example

      Of fix for the fix, that everyone talks about, but Microsoft fans are in denial about it.

      Microsoft could have tested that initial "fix" for problems it causes...

      As usual, it is more noise than action.
      danbi
  • Kudos to Microsoft

    They do seem to do a very good job at updating software.
    Gr8Music
  • WOOHOO!!

    The 8.1 updates fix the flickering Flash videos!! :D
    GoodThings2Life