Microsoft to roll out April firmware updates for Surface RT and Pro

Microsoft to roll out April firmware updates for Surface RT and Pro

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out new firmware and driver updates to its Surface RT and Surface Pro devices as part of April's Patch Tuesday.

SHARE:

As part of today's April 9 Patch Tuesday, Microsoft is rolling out more firmware updates to its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablet/PC hybrids.

surfaceblacktouch

The April cumulative update for Surface RT focuses almost entirely on Wi-Fi, according to Microsoft's Surface RT Update History page.

Fixes include:

  • Certain “Limited” connectivity issues resolved
  • Improves Wi-Fi to handle a wide range of access points
  • Resolves system crashes caused by certain Wi-Fi issues

The April firmware update is the fifth Surface RT cumulative update the company has made since Microsoft launched the Surface RT in the U.S. and Canada in late October 2012. A number of Surface RT users have been complaining for months that they've had problems connecting to Wi-Fi with their devices. (I, fortunately, have not been among them.) Four of the five firmware updates Microsoft has made to the Surface RT include Wi-Fi connectivity fixes.

The April 9 cumulative update for Surface Pro includes other fixes and driver updates. The full list (from the Microsoft Update page for Pro):

  • Resolves an issue with on screen touch navigation in the UEFI boot menu
  • Resolves some Surface Type and Touch cover connectivity issues
  • Support for 106/109 keyboards on North American Surface devices
  • Resolves an issue where toggling airplane mode would disable the Wi-Fi driver

(By the way, for those who were wondering about a Surface Pro update they got in late March, after last month's Patch Tuesday one, it was "a low level driver update to improve SSD performance during boot," according to the Microsoft history page.)

Microsoft made the Surface Pro available in the U.S. and Canada in early February. Today's April updates are the second set of firmware patches for the devices.

Microsoft auto-installs updates on Surface RT and Surface Pro via Windows Update. Updates are cumulative, so users will get all previous updates delivered. 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. The updates should be available for installation around 1 p.m. ET or so today.

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."

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Tablets, 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).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

54 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Kudos to Microsoft, updates are good

    Kudos Microsoft, great devices getting better every month. Keep up the great work.
    toddbottom3
    • While I do like Microsoft Products

      all of the fireware updates show they rushed these devices out to market. I think once they get these issues resolved it will allow them to regroup efforts on next generation Surface devices.

      BTW: I am happy with my Lumia 920! Just need IBM to get with the program and release Lotus Traveler for WP8!
      rmark@...
    • Microsoft is looking to be one of the best OEMs.

      A while back, the guys at Tablet PC Review were complaining about strange behaviors in the GPU.

      Whereas other OEMs simply ignored it, MS fixed the throttling issue.

      So far, both their software and hardware support seems solid.
      ForeverCookie
      • microsoft fail

        The surface is the latest example of Microsoft's inability to innovate. It's laughable how inept they are at innovation. Google probably comes up with more innovation on any/every given day then MS does in a year. MS only responds to the innovation of others, as they have done for many years. They copy and replicate everyone around them, but by the time they do, it's already old news. Things are different now. They are still the biggest boy on the playground, but their 3rd grade approach isn't cutting it with the high school crowd anymore and everybody can see that the 3rd grader might be a little slow in the head.
        Henrique Dourado
        • How are they copying?

          That's a serious question.
          Michael Alan Goff
        • microsoft pass with flying colors

          just buy a Surface Pro and you will not say these things any more. The Surface Pro is by far the most amazing device out there. It makes the iPad seem like old technology. As far as Google devices, they are so far behind Microsoft and Apple it is hard to make a comparison. (yes, I own devices from all 3)
          netnuke
        • Henrique Dourado Fail

          Your post is the latest example of your inability to innovate. It's laughable how inept you are at originality. Others probably comes up with more compelling arguments on any/every given day then you do in a year. You only respond to the posts of others, as you have done since day one here on ZDNet. you copy and replicate links to idiotic and unrelated videos, but by the time you do, it's already old news.

          Things are different now. You're are still a small boy on the playground, but yourr 3rd grade approach isn't cutting it with the high school crowd anymore and everybody can see that the 3rd grader might be a little slow in the head.

          That about sums you up in a NUTshell, with the noted emphasis on "nut"
          William Farrel
          • LOL

            I couldn't have said it better.
            stlbud@...
          • idiot apple user who have never used a surface pro, yet comes out bad mouth

            idiot apple user who have never used a surface pro, yet comes out bad mouthing. idiot
            beggerking
        • you are an idiot

          idiot apple user who have never used a surface pro, yet comes out bad mouthing. idiot
          beggerking
        • Incomplete comment

          You forgot the part where you ask about Ctrl + Alt + Del
          Ndiaz.fuentes
    • impossible

      But Toddy, Windows RT has never ever had wifi issues. Yet Microsoft keeps and keeps fixing them (apparently not yet successful).

      It is only iPhones and iPads that have wifi issues and this is precisely why yours do sit on the shelf.

      By the way, did you take good care of the poor devices and recharge their batteries? :)
      danbi
      • Todd can be a bit delusional...

        ...And MS is far from perfect, but at least they're proactively addressing their devices issues, rather than ignoring them and insisting nothing is wrong.
        Ndiaz.fuentes
        • Need an edit button

          devices' issues
          Ndiaz.fuentes
  • Good to know they're supporting their devices

    Too bad it doesn't have the extra battery life that a dock could provide (or maybe a lit keyboard), but maybe someday.

    *thumbs up*
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Well

      Microsoft has promised to release many unspecified things that will use the "keyboad dock".

      Bigger keyboards with extra batteries would be great, especially for the Pro.
      CarlitosLx
      • I've read that

        but I'll believe it when I see it.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Microsoft to roll out April firmware updates for Surface RT and Pro

    Its nice to see Microsoft improve the performance of their products. That works out better than just saying here's the code and hoping someone has the time to sift through it and spend hours compiling it only for their machine.
    Loverock-Davidson
    • Loverock Davidson ...Just another way to get another $40.00 out of you

      I only want your money

      Just give me more money for no reason other that I said to....

      I want another $40.00 for BLUE Vista

      Just show me the money and I"ll show you Blue Vista or is it Vista Blue

      I don't care what we call it - just give another $40.00 and be done with it

      I'm Microsoft and I want another $40.00 Green Viista and

      another $40.00 for Pink Vista.....I'm Microsoft and I will suck all your money out of you.......
      Over and Out
      • Apple money for updates!

        Why are you here trolling?
        Apple is the only company I know that takes money for updates, remember IOS 3.0 which you had to pay for!
        Wall.iPhone4