Microsoft rolls out UEFI firmware and other Surface updates

Microsoft rolls out UEFI firmware and other Surface updates

Summary: Microsoft is continuing to roll out fixes and updates for its Surface Pro and Surface RT tablet/PC hybrids as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday process.

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As part of its latest Patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft rolled out new fixes and updates for its Surface Pro and Surface RT tablet/PC hybrids.

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On May 14, the company made available UEFI firmware updates for both its Intel-based Pro and ARM-based RT models. Here's the full list of what's available for both kinds of Surfaces:

For Surface Pro:

  • UEFI firmware update enables the PXE boot feature. (This feature is only available when using the Surface Pro Ethernet Adapter)
  • Trackpad Settings driver for Surface Type Cover to enable interaction with the Trackpad Settings app for Japanese customers
  • Continued improvement in Wi-Fi connectivity and stability

For Surface RT:

  • UEFI firmware update that enhances Surface RT speaker volume and improves system stability
  • Driver pack that improves performance and works with the updated UEFI firmware to enhance Surface RT speaker volume
  • Trackpad Settings driver for Surface Type Cover to enable interaction with the Trackpad Settings app for Japanese customers

Surface users can proactively grab the new updates using this process.

Microsoft didn't deliver as part of today's Surface updates support for the new Wacom drivers needed to use Surface Pro with pressure-sensitive pens. Microsoft officials said last week that they are beta testing these drivers, but it appeared as though Wacom made them available for download by anyone on May 9.

I asked both Microsoft and Wacom officials if the drivers were beta or final and received no word back. I have seen tweets and blog posts from a number of Surface Pro users who have downloaded them and found them to work just fine, however.

Microsoft officials said last week that the company has delivered more than 700 fixes and updates for Windows 8 and Windows RT since Microsoft made the operating systems generally available in late October 2012. Surface RT was made generally available in late October 2012; Surface Pro in February 2013.

Microsoft looks likely to be making Surface Pro available in Hong Kong on May 17. There's still no word as to when the Pro model will be available in the handful of countries where Microsoft officials said they'd be before the end of May.

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Security, Tablets, PCs

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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32 comments
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  • not for me

    still does not allow Linux booting....bleah!
    LlNUX Geek
    • Sure you can

      Just disable secure boot and you can install Linux. Or run Linux in Hyper-V!
      AdamzP
      • I've got Ubuntu in Dual-Boot.

        I still don't know what he's complaining about.
        ForeverCookie
        • He's complaining because he wants to own his hardware

          The updates essentially makes Microsoft the owner of your computer and as a policy Microsoft will not allow any operating system other than their own on "your" hardware. Ain't that a trip. Microsoft hijacking every computer in the world. This Microsoft has gone too far. No more for me either. iOS and Linux, not to mention Android are the future.
          Tim Jordan
          • Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars

            The judges on DWTS got rid of Bristol Palin because they said "it was time for her to go." She was not on bottom of the leader board though because her fans. She has a lot of them. But the judges knew that she was a horrible dancer and had to go. Microsoft has been propped up too long now. There are other OSs out their which are great and are innovating as they should. The time is now here when we can finally have something other than a Ford.
            Tim Jordan
          • Luckily consumer choices are not dictated by judges on a dancing show

            who get to tell us when they think something needs to go or be replaced by something else.

            NEWSFLASH:
            There is nothing stopping your from using any operating system you want to right now! There is no need to remove or drag down another operating system in order for you to use whatever you want.

            Really you can go do that right now. As long as you are not over concerned that everyone else is driving a ford and you are riding a harely (or whatever suits your silly analogy). Go and pick the operating system you want to use and be happy.
            Emacho
          • A Ford?

            I always considered Microsoft equivalent to a Chevy. Typically in the repair shop, bad mileage, (and overpriced like that "Chinese import - Apple). More than 700 fixes and patches already!!! Most are fixing "security holes". So much for a "more secure" system. Built on garbage and still remains garbage.

            BTW, I have Windows 7 on one desktop and it destroyed one SATA drive (when plugged into the USB port- still trying to get it to format), screwed up my 1.5 TB external drive which had everything backed up - still trying to recover (in place since I don't have sufficient HD space for 1.5TB, lost the partition in another external 500GB drive (4 partitions - Win 7 only recognizes 3, while Win XP and Linux recognize all 4 and claim the HD has no problems).

            BTW, I ran malware, spyware, AV, and other checks and no problems have been found.

            Wndows - GIGO!
            bobc4012@...
          • He does own his hardware

            As AdamzP says, there are a number of ways to run Linux. The update makes no change to that. If you are going to troll, at least try to come up with arguments that make some possible logical sense!
            CageySee
          • then don't buy it

            These updates are for Microsoft's Surface series tablet PCs. If you do not own a Surface, you should not have to worry about these changes. If you feel that iOS serves your needs better you should already own one and not the Surface. SO I wonder how MS is taking over YOUR hardware when you do not even own ONE!!

            The fact you feel that iOS is less controlling shows the absurdness of your argument. iOS does not tolerate changes within itself, and why you feel that MS should allow such behavior does not makes sense.
            Cain69
          • interesting

            You do realise that comparing "iOS" to "Surface" is not very appropriate, do you?

            One is software, another is hardware.

            It is also apparent you are not aware that "jailbreaking" iOS is trivial and let's you instruct iOS to tolerate changes to itself, essentially letting you do about anything with the device that runs iOS, as it's a full UNIX OS.

            Jailbreaking iOS also does not permamently "mark" the device, as "unlocking" an Android device does.

            While I don't know your reasons to bash iOS and devices it runs on, you could do better and.. it has nothing to do with what Microsoft does with UEFI to lock down the hardware they "sell" to customers.
            danbi
          • Sensationalize much?

            The issue is secureboot in UEFI. This feature essentially prevents rootkits and other types of attacks that occur before the OS boots. If Secureboot detects something other than the intended OS it will not allow a boot or allow a very restricted boot. Torvalds complaint is that the Surface (and other hardware) ships with the thumbprint of the original OS and won't allow for easy installation of Linux. All this Secureboot/UEFI stuff is fairly new and I’m sure Linux will catch up. It will probably involve installing a key so some kind in UEFI for a particular distro.
            frankwick
          • How long do you think it will take

            for hackers to hack their way past "secure boot"? What one person (or persons) devises, another smarter person will "undevise"! It will be a matter of time. Then you will be installing "security" patches in the H/W!
            bobc4012@...
    • Wait

      Somebody named "Linux Geek" bought a Surface Pro?
      Michael Alan Goff
      • that might be news for you

        That someone might actually use more than one platform?
        And not be fanatically defending the One True Solution!?
        danbi
        • No, no

          It is a shock to me that anyone who identifies themselves by a single platform would use a platform that is opposed to theirs in any way. I could see you using all three platforms easier than a guy named "Apple Fan" or "Linux Geek". Then we get into the idea that he would buy a Surface Pro to run Linux.

          Why would somebody buy a Surface Pro to run Linux?
          Michael Alan Goff
          • Re: Why would somebody buy a Surface Pro to run Linux?

            I don't know. These are not sold where I live, and I have never ever seen an Surface tablet (RT or Pro) in the wild -- and I travel a lot, worldwide.

            But imagine, the guy didn't buy the device themselves, but it was given to him one way or another. Or even if he did, he wanted to experiment. Or aren't they entitled to install whatever OS they wish on the device they own? It is a "PC" after all, and PCs are supposed to be open and available for such experiments, no?

            On the other hand, people buy all kinds of expensive stuff in order to do weird things with them, for example make an youtube video how smartphones crash on a cement floor. Doesn't have to make any sense, right? It's their money, after all.

            Why all the prejudice?
            danbi
          • Because

            Generally when somebody comes in here with a brand-centric name, they're just here pushing an agenda. This is true with anyone with Microsoft, Apple, Google, Android, Linux, etc as the name.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • I'll tell you why.

            Why would a Linux_Geek buy a Surface Proc to run Linux? He wants to say "because I can". Why else be a Linux Geek? I remember when Linux was for real men. Now its for 12 yo girls and grannies.
            jsargent
          • Not only that

            The guy might genuinely appreciate the Surface hardware, but have no use of the bundled Windows. So he would want to run what he knows works for him: Linux.

            Of course, if Microsoft do not want the Surface hardware to sell, they can continue to lock down the hardware. It's their hardware, their choice.
            Their is the market failure as well.
            danbi
          • Well, according to some other posters

            They were able to install Linux on it, actually.
            Michael Alan Goff