On October 22, Microsoft returned a fixed version of Windows RT 8.1 to the Windows Store for download.
Microsoft removed the operating system update from the Store on October 19, two days after launching it on October 17. The Windows RT 8.1 update was causing installation problems for a number of users.
On October 21, Microsoft officials said the installation woes were limited to Surface RT customers. According to Microsoft, one out of every 1,000 Surface RT 8.1 installs were experiencing problems that left updates incomplete and devices "unbootable"/bricked.
On October 22, Microsoft issued an updated statement about the Windows RT 8.1 situation. A spokesperson sent me the following:
"This was due to a rare situation where firmware updates had not completed at the time of the update to RT 8.1. In most cases, if a customer encountered this issue the result was simply an extra reboot. However, for a very small percentage, the boot configuration data was affected which prevented a successful boot. We worked to quickly resolve the issue and now encourage customers to update their Surface RT devices. Surface Pro and 8.1 customers were not impacted by this issue.
"As previously announced, there is a recovery solution available for download here for Surface RT customers who experienced the installation issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If an issue occurs with our software or devices, we take immediate steps to ensure a quality experience for every single customer—that’s been our driving priority in this case, despite the very limited number of customers impacted. We are grateful to the customers who shared their Surface RT devices, assisting our efforts to determine the root cause quickly."
Microsoft began selling commercially its new Surface devices — the Surface 2 (running Windows RT 8.1) and Surface 2 Pro (running Windows 8.1) on October 22.