Microsoft pushes new Surface firmware updates as part of Patch Tuesday fixes

Microsoft pushes new Surface firmware updates as part of Patch Tuesday fixes

Summary: Microsoft has made new firmware-level fixes and updates available for download for its Surface tablet/PC hybrids as part of the March Patch Tuesday updates.


Microsoft has made available new firmware updates for its Surface tablet/PCs as part of its March 12 bunch of Patch Tuesday updates.


The March Surface RT firmware updates include more Wi-Fi updates. This one is said to improve roaming and "limited" connectivity scenarios.

The new firmware updates also resolve issues with the integrated volume button; improve the Type and Touch cover typing experiences on soft surfaces and/or when devices and keyboards are lying flat; fix issues with "random muting" and make unspecified Trackpad performance improvements. 

I just downloaded all of the Patch Tuesday updates for my Surface RT. There are 17 of them, not all of which count as "firmware updates." There are IE refreshes in there, as well, including the update that will allow most Flash content to run in IE10 (unless it is on the "black" list).

The Surface Pro firmware updates include fixes to Wi-Fi reliability allowing for better roaming and improvements to "limited" connectivity scenarios; the enablement of Windows To Go feature; and improved onscreen keyboard detection synchronization when going in and out of sleep, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft has made a few Surface RT firmware updates over the past few months since the product was made available in October 2012. The Surface Pro went on sale in February 2013.

With Surface RTs, automatic updating is always on. With the 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). A spokesperson told me a couple months ago: "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."

Here's more on the other updates that are being pushed as part of today's Patch Tuesday.

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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  • Very nice

    The best ARM powered tablet on the market just got even better. My Surface RT updated without any issues, unlike my old ipad that always had problems with updates.
    • Truly the update....

      .... run without any problem, as usually. IToy? I think we should mention it here, otherwise we will be overrun by trolls!
    • You experience update problems?

      I don't think I've ever experienced update issues with my Windows PCs and forgiving the fact that everyone overloads Apple servers for every major update, other than that I can't see how you would experience update issues with iOS. It would have to be an "ID 10 T kernel error or something like that.
  • Oh Toddy!

    It must be just you having difficulties with iOS updates. Were you tethering thru a device using crappy Windows Phone?

    I never would have thought you'd call an Android tablet "The best ARM powered tablet on the market" but I like my Nexus too.
    • Android tablets look great too

      I have nothing against Android and in fact, I'm well on the record as stating that Google Now is a killer feature (is that available on tablets or just phones?).

      But yes, I had major problems with ipad updates.
      • iPad update problem

        I think I sort of understand your frustration. I have an iPhone to this day and everytime Apple comes out with an update you have to download a whole new firmware which is roughly over six hundred megabytes most times. But recently with my Surface RT whenever an update comes out I don't have to download a whole new OS each time but I download the UPDATES ONLY and usually they are quick.
        • Are you sure?

          Are you use you own an iPhone today? For the last few iOS updates were just 12-16MB big...
          • Must be an OTA

            I should try updating that way. I'll see if it works. Thanks!
    • I'm looking for this Android tablet

      Digitizer pen (like with the Note 2)
      Major manufacturer

      Does this exist?
      • Not in 7" form

        But in 8" form it does

        The UK version also can make calls (even though that just seems ridiculous).

        Personally, I'm waiting for a 7-8" RT tablet (fell in love with the form factor after the Nexus 7, and the Best buy by my home FINALLY got the surface RT. Like the OS, now I just need the right form factor).
        • Thanks for the reply

          Doesn't appear to be on sale yet but that is exactly what I'm looking for.
  • IE10

    Great to hear they are pushing the updates out.

    Question, is there any way to change the IE10 home page in metro style browser? My gf accidentally changed her home page there appears no way to update... Unless I go to the desktop IE10 and change it from there which is really strange.
    • Setting the home page for Metro IE browser... very easy. Go to the desktop browser, set the new home page there. The Metro IE browser uses that setting.
      • That works, another alternative

        Navigate to the page you want and pin it.
      • How stupid is that?

        So, to change the home page, you quit from Metro IE and run desktop IE. Seriously? That's really dumb, or maybe MS just assumes that anyone running Metro IE is too dumb to care what their homepage is?
        • agree

          Stupid not to have a setting available under metro settings...
        • What is a home page?

          The page that loads when you open IE.

          Like I said:
          1. Navigate to the page you want.
          2. Pin it.

          There, new home page. You can even create multiple "home" pages.

          "But you can't create multiple home pages, where does Modern IE take you when you click on the Home icon?"

          What home icon?

          Ahhhh, now they get it.

          Live Tiles are so much better than being stuck with one, and only one home page.

          Progress is great.
          • tb3, you really are a shill

            How is giving up multiple home pages and a button that will call them up considered progress. It's the same old MS refrain "Well, why would you want to do that?" And, no, I don't want to pin 15 tabs to the browser. I want what I have, not what MS wants me to get used to.
          • Too funny

            Overheard by horse owners at the beginning of the 20th century:
            "I want what I have, not what Ford wants me to get used to."

            Enjoy your horse. I'll be waiting for you at the finish line. Good thing I'll have my Surface to keep me entertained while I wait for you.

            PS If you REALLY want to stick with the "I want what I have" argument, use desktop IE, it is still there. Your little temper tantrum is the equivalent of saying:
            I've decided to stop using the browser that comes with Windows 8 and use a different browser. What? It doesn't work EXACTLY like the browser I've used for years and is still available to me in Windows 8? MS is evil.
          • well, no, not exactly...

            I don't really use IE, I've been using an advanced browser for many years, but sake of the sheeple that don't know any better, how about accommodating them too.