Latest Surface Update Gets a Good-Enough Rating

Latest Surface Update Gets a Good-Enough Rating

Since the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book were made officially available in the latter half of 2015, there have been problems that have been reported widely. Overheating, the inability to shutdown, the inability to wake-up and more have plagued owners of Microsoft’s latest Surface PCs. Microsoft has taken small steps each month to try and fix the problems, but it’s been a slow process. But, such is the modern life, I guess, when companies like Microsoft would rather take a “release it now, fix it later” approach to both hardware and software.

The most recent update for the Surface devices came out just this week. Some reported issues getting it installed, but for the majority it installed just fine (myself included). Here’s what I’ve noticed:

  1. The fan comes on less often.
  2. If the fan does come on, it is short-lived, i.e., it doesn’t last long.
  3. Sleep actually works correctly. When you close the lid (or, the keyboard on the Surface Pro 4) the device goes into low-power mode and doesn’t continue to process things secretly in the background which can cause excessive heat.
  4. The device wakes correctly. When you open the lid (or, swing open the keyboard on the Surface Pro 4) the screen comes on almost instantly to allow you to login (I use the Windows Hello camera). Before this update, I would have to use the one-finger salute (press the power button for longer than 10 seconds) to shut it down completely and do a fresh boot.

Extra: I have had the Surface Pro 4 not wake correctly only once since applying the update. This seems to indicate an application glitch and not a problem with the hardware.

Many IT Pros wait until an update is verified solid before deploying – for good reason. No one wants to take on an irate end-user population after a botched rollout. So, from a company perspective – those that wait to build corporate official images for deployment – I recommend that this update is good enough to build into incorporate into your Gold images. When Microsoft finally makes this round of updates available for IT Pros, these are good to go.

You can grab the firmware and drivers from here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt210833.aspx

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