Microsoft delivers December updates and fixes across its Surface tablets

Microsoft delivers December updates and fixes across its Surface tablets

Summary: Microsoft is making available a variety of fixes and updates across its family of Surface devices as part of this month's Patch Tuesday.


December 10 is Patch Tuesday, which means Microsoft is making available a number of updates across its Surface family of devices.


All four models of Surfaces -- The ARM-based Surface RT (now known as plain-old Surface) and Surface 2, as well as the Intel-based Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 -- are getting a variety of patches and fixes.

Here's the list:

Surface (RT) running either Windows RT 8.0 or Windows RT 8.1:

  • Surface Home Button Driver update to optimize available system memory
  • Surface Type Cover audio device driver update to enhance trackpad sounds for Type Cover 2

Surface 2 running Windows RT 8.1:

  • Fix for screen dimming during CPU intensive operations resolved
  • Decreased charge time for batteries resolved
  • Two-finger trackpad use optimized
  • Update to support additional external displays
  • Skype video quality improved
  • Resolved delay during restart when Bluetooth devices are connected

Surface Pro running Windows 8.0:

No updates this month (according to Microsoft's Surface Pro History site)

Surface Pro running Windows 8.1:

Wi-Fi driver (v14.69.24047.156) update for improved wireless display experience

Surface Pro 2 running Windows 8.1:

  • Update for improved system stability, including when minimizing full screen games
  • Updated Wi-Fi driver for improved wireless display and connectivity with wireless access points
  • Improved Surface Cover interaction including power-saving sleep functionality
  • Color fidelity improvements for all applications
  • Optimized two-finger trackpad use
  • Enhanced audio experience when connected to a Display Port 1.2 device

I've heard from some Surface Pro users that they've been having problems with spontaneous reboots after upgrading to Windows 8.1. There are a couple of threads on Microsoft's Answers site about this. I've been asking Microsoft officials for the past week or so when and if this issue would be resolved, but received no word back.

I'm also hoping, as a Surface RT user, that Microsoft will bring some of the fixes it made this month to us first-generation device users. I sure could use the Bluetooth-delay fix, plus, of course, anything that might extend battery life beyond the roughly five- to six-hour amount I routinely get in using my device ocassionally (rather than in constant video-loop mode).

Microsoft offers step-by-step directions for those who want to install the Surface updates immediately once they are available (around 1 p.m. ET today, or so) on all of its Surface Update History sites.

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


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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  • Surface Pro spontaneous reboot?

    I've got a Surface Pro with Windows 8.1 and I haven't seen any spontaneous reboots. Any more information available about this? When I upgraded, I first did a system restore to the original configuration of Windows 8 before upgrading to 8.1. I wonder if that has anything to do with it?
    Sir Name
  • mary jo...

    you're proof that the tech industry, particularly those that write about tech, needs more women.
    widow maker
    • I like MJF articles.

      They're some of the few that actually provide information.
      • Completely agree

        She one of the few that just states what is going on and doesn't step out forming an opinion on something she may or may not have direct experience with.
    • Every blogger here is good except the

      bloggers that have "-" in their names. Those need to go back to preschool. I recommend Larry Dignan to pay for their preschool or Kindercare expenses while they learn some discipline. ;-)
      Ram U
      • Oh.. no.. I wish that were true.

        There are some exceptionally good writers here - but there are more than a few who really.. just aren't. And they certainly don't put hyphens in their names (although I do see your point... :) )
    • Not to mention better writers...

      MJF's one of the best tech writers I read and sets a fairly high bar for quality.

      First, I love the "Microsoft without bashing us over the head with Apple or Google" writing approach. It sounds weird - but I feel safer reading her posts. Too many other writers, especially here on ZDNet seem to have decided their goal in life is to convince everyone to buy Apple, Google or Linux products rather then just informing us objectively and letting us make that call.

      And as they say 'converts are the worst zealots' (I'm looking at YOU AKF and JP).

      Then there's the "I may like Microsoft, but not going to pull punches when I think they're doing something stupid" attitude which I respect very much. There less of a sense of an agenda in MJF's writing.
  • Sound Issues Remain

    I see they still have not addressed the sound issues with Surface 2 :(
  • Keep up the good work!

    We really appreciate you Mary Joe! :)
  • Surface RT Wireless on Windows 8.1

    Ever since upgrading to Windows 8.1, the wireless performance of my original Surface RT is significantly degraded. Everything else about Windows 8.1 on the RT has been great, but the wireless issues are not awesome. Hoping to see a fix for this soon, but not holding my breathe since Microsoft has majority focus on Surface 2 now. Otherwise, I love my Surface RT. Best tablet for personal and business use!
    • you have no idea what you you?

      do you have a surface pro, pro2, surface 2, or a surface RT?
  • It's funny...

    ... I've found that the people who own a Surface love it; people who don't hate it.
    • re:

      Yep. Love my Surface Pro. More often than not, I use it as a tablet in portrait mode.
      Sir Name
    • Love my Pro with type cover

      Not so fond of my RT original with touch cover
      • New Touch Cover

        Tried the new touch cover? It's waaaay better and more accurate than the old one. That said, I still prefer the Type cover... the old one, that is, with the mechanical track-pad buttons. I think it was a mistake for Microsoft to put a track pad on the new Type cover without phyiscal track-pad buttons. As much as I hate track pads, I hate not having the feedback of a physical click even more.
      • How much do you love that $300-400 price difference?

        A Surface Pro with keyboard is definitely in the running for my eventual leap into mobile Windows 6.3 computing (take that, marketing dweebs), but when we're talking tablets (and implying competition for that Apple walled garden of expensive flowers) the sheer cost of the Pro, alone, compared to an Android or lower-end *gasp* iDevice makes it a little harder of a sell.

        That said, the Surface RT/2 might have its place in the market if WinARM computing ever becomes as useful, and usable, as its rivals.
        Tony G.
    • Um, that would stand to reason?

      Since the people to own a product are the likelier ones to enjoy it, and the people who do not own it, having voted with their dollars for something else, somewhat less so.
    • An "amen" to that brother...

      ... It is the ultimate productivity device. The touch keyboard cover makes it a very useful desktop when needed. Full desktop (usb, connecting a second monitor, all my "apps", virtual machines so I can take my old Windows-XP with me, and the list goes on... ). Grab-and-go to a meeting or to collect wireless data on the plant floor. An amazing tool.
  • 5 - 6 hours

    You're only getting 5 to 6 hours on your first gen Surface RT? That seems very low to me. I've never done any actual controlled testing with mine, but I do use it all the time and have never felt battery life was an issue.