Microsoft to deliver fix for Surface RT users hit by application-update problems

Microsoft to deliver fix for Surface RT users hit by application-update problems

Summary: Microsoft expects to deliver in early February a fix for Windows RT devices hit by application-updating problems caused by fixes introduced with the latest set of Patch Tuesday updates.


Microsoft is working on a fix for Windows RT users hit by application-updating problems that seemingly were introduced by the latest set of updates Microsoft pushed out for the operating system earlier this month.


As The Next Web noted earlier this week, some Surface RT users have not been able to access the Windows Store or Windows Update since applying the latest set of Patch Tuesday fixes, rolled out on January 8. Some Windows RT users are reporting that any application updates they attempt to apply do not complete. A firmware update for Surface RT devices was also part of the January 8 batch of updates.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company expects to have a fix ready by early February. Here's the official statement:

“Some Windows RT customers who attempted to apply January’s bulletins had issues installing updates. Specifically, impacted Windows RT devices went into connected standby mode during the download of updates from Windows Update, causing the connection to be disrupted. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and are working to correct the issue; we expect to have a fix in place in the first week of February.”

The spokesperson's statement noted that the coming fix will be for all ARM-based Windows RT devices. Surface RTs constitute the significant majority of systems running the Windows RT operating system at this point.

Microsoft officials announced on January 22 that the company will expand Surface RT's availability to customers in 13 Western European markets beyond the countries where it is available now. (Surface RT is already available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the U.S.)  Microsoft also plans to make available a 64 GB version of the Surface RT that isn't bundled with the black Touch Cover for $599.

One final note: As part of Microsoft's Surface-related announcements yesterday, officials started using the slightly shorter (but still awful) "Surface Windows RT" and "Surface Windows 8 Pro" names to refer to the first two Microsoft-made PC/tablet hybrids. Before yesterday, the products were known officially as "Surface With Windows RT" and "Surface With Windows 8 Pro." I'm not sure why Microsoft doesn't just call them Surface RT and Surface Pro like most of the rest of us do. But there you have it.

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Tablets, ARM, 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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  • The Name Game

    I really feel like "Windows RT" needs to become just "Surface" and then both versions of Windows 8 for everything else. That way the Surface "Pro" can actually just go on to be Surface with Windows 8. It doesn't really look as if any of these other "partners" are interested in the Arm platform anyhow and Microsoft can just own the whole thing and make their marks with continued improvements in the next few years...and if they DO come back, it's not like Microsoft seems to have a problem just changing things every 6 months anyway! =p
    • More Surfaces coming soon...

      New devices with Surface brand will be released this year, so it would be a good idea to differentiate them by naming appropriately.
  • I had an install problem, but not this.

    Mine was a firmware update that wouldn't install if the battery was less 50% charged. The error message cryptic, they need friendly messages. Once the battery charged it installed without issue.
  • So will this be a new surfacegate issue ?

    There was already:
    Storagegate: the amount of avail storage on surface RT was way less than advertiesed
    Wifigate: where the surface RT will have issues connecting to wifi even next to the router
    Keyboardgate: where the Surface Keyboard will split

    i know there was a few more.
    But in this case lets see 500k surfaces sold - 300k was sold to the microsoft stores themselfs. leaves 200k people that may of actually purchased the surface. 50k of those are for sale online ebay, craigslist
    So 10% of 150k is 15k people that may be affected by this bug.
    Anthony E
    • Where did you get these numbers?

      I didn't know there was a reliable source.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Microsoft never released the numbers.

        The number is coming from a discussion on technet by some developers regarding the sales from what the can see.
        Anthony E
        • I would guess that it's double that, or more

          considering Microsoft has come out and said they had to ramp up orders.
          Michael Alan Goff
        • We get it

          Since it is Microsoft, you just want to troll and spread FUD. How is malware program you are writing for Android going? Don't ask me the source, just guessing like you did with your numbers.
          Ram U
          • Well search "surface numbers" on technet.

            Where did you get i code for android from. I use android on my phone, I use Linux / WIn 7 Pro on my desktop (because 8 is wow.. I didn't get a good education to use a Elementary school interface) and osx /windows 7 Home Prem on my macbook.
            Anthony E
          • So a tech forum is the sales information

            Cool. never knew that. /s
            Ram U
          • If its people developing apps

            But inquiring about lack of clients, and the producer of the software won't release numbers about how many users actually exist.. it would be the best reference point..

            Microsoft will say they sold 60Mill windows 8 licenses (primarily to OEMS) but won't product sales numbers on another product isn't good.
            Anthony E
          • I doubt they'd say

            even if they were selling 3 million a month.

            It's just not what they do.
            Michael Alan Goff
        • Trying to make a moutain out of a speedbump, Anthony?

          Sorry, but i just did a search and found no "gates" (Beyond Bill) in reference to Surface.

          it DID bring up iPad and iPhone stories most of the time, though
          William Farrel
          • Its a tech joke. To outline the problems with the surface in the same light

            That people outline problems with the ipad/iphone.. Don't think you'll find reference to it outside zdnet..
            But the problems i described above are the same ones that have been reported outside zdnet
            Anthony E
    • I bought mine from a MS Store

      If Microsoft sold them to the Microsoft stores, and the Microsoft store sold it to me, doesn't that mean that it was sold to a user? I'm not sure I understand your logic that since they sold 300,000 out of 500,000 to Microsoft stores that only the 200,000 not sold to the MS store made it into end user hands... please explain.
  • Microsoft Marketing - Exit!

    This naming strategy has to stop! They just don't get it.

    It's not the first time I mention this, the Marketing (or Branding) department is due for a massive reboot. There are elements in there that just refuse to evolve.

    This is preventing the company to move forward in the public opinion - and this is getting especially important with the recent consumer oriented push.
  • A little bit of inconsistency...

    Go to

    The menus read "Surface with Windows RT" and "Surface with Windows 8 Pro".

    Read the first paragraph, it says "Surface Windows 8 Pro" and "Surface Windows RT"...

    Now these aren't the biggest issues in the World of tech, but someone should have caught this, right?

    Maybe this is a hint that in the future we'll have "Surface Windows RT", "Surface Windows Pro" and "Surface Xbox". It would be just like Microsoft to do it...

    I sort of agree with Mary Jo and MediaCastleX. I think that simply "Surface" and "Surface Pro" would be much cleaner and stronger. I feel that adding "RT" is almost like making an excuse for it. Like saying "remember it's not running full Windows" as if it were a bad thing... (which it may be, but that's not my point).

    I know they'll listen to us... Just you wait and see...
    • That's just scratching the surface...

      of the whole Surface naming problem. The first Surface has been renamed "PielSense" ( since the new Surfaces have surfaced. On the surface, that may not be a big deal, but with more surfaces surfacing, how are we ever to keep up?

      If Surfaces keep surfacing the naming of these devices will get even more confusing. It could lead to consumers being a bit confused. At least on the surface...
      • You do realize

        PixelSense (formerly known as Surface) wasn't sold to the average consumer, right?
        Michael Alan Goff
        • THAT's you objection to his post? :)

          Anyhoo, the point is: get you naming/branding right!

          Surface is the best name to come out of Microsoft in years, in fact it may be the best name ever. Whether it'll turn into a strong brand is another question.

          The potential is there for building a strong portfolio of devices with short, catchy and easily distinguishable names. They may be new to the game, but so many others went before them, Microsoft could have learned from the mistakes of others AND from those made by themselves... and then they go and name the thing "Surface with Windows 8 Professional".

          That said I do look forward to testing one out, it does seem like one of the best candidates for the king of the 1st gen PC hybrids throne.