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Surface Pro 2 December Update Pulled by Microsoft

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it pulled a Surface Pro 2 firmware update that was released earlier this month.

The update originally was released on Dec. 10, but Surface Pro 2 users lodged various complaints in Microsoft's support forum. The complaints ranged from receiving an error message suggesting that the update didn't take, losing battery-life capability, getting blank screens after reviving from sleep mode and having Wi-Fi connection issues.

A WinBeta story spotted Microsoft's announcement that it was pulling the update. The notice was tucked away in a Microsoft forum post about the firmware update failing to install. According to info provided by Microsoft to WinBeta, the firmware update likely does install correctly, but some users still get an error message, numbered "80070490," falsely suggesting that the update didn't work. However, users can verify if the patch did install correctly by checking the system's install history via the operating system's Device Manager screen, despite the error message.

Microsoft is planning to rerelease the firmware update to Surface Pro 2 users sometime "after the holidays," but there appears to be no workaround for those who have experienced problems with the patch.

"To ensure the best experience for our customers during the holiday season, we have taken steps to remove the update for Surface Pro 2 that was previously published through Windows Update on December 10th, 2013," stated Josh F., a Microsoft Surface support engineer, in the announcement. "We are working to release an alternative update package after the holidays."

The December Surface Pro 2 firmware update was designed to improve the device's ability to connect with Wi-Fi access points. It also was supposed to improve the Surface Cover's power-savings capability during sleep mode. The machine's two-finger trackpad capability was also slated for improvement with the patch. The December improvements are listed at Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 update history page here.

Surface Pro 2 is Microsoft newest and most powerful "tablet-PC" device that uses Intel's fourth-generation Core i5 processor. For a review of the Surface Pro 2, see this Redmond article. Microsoft also makes an ARM-based Surface 2 device that runs the Windows RT 8.1 operating system, which is reviewed here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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