If you've got a Surface Pro 3, you'll want to head into Windows Update and grab this month's surprise new firmware update. It's a big one, improving the Surface Pen to accommodate future configuration options, whatever that means. It's also a weird one, since Patch Tuesday is next week.
Update: Now we know what this update really does, thanks to a post in Microsoft's community forums. It enables developers to write apps that can configure what the Surface Pen's buttons do. So there will soon be an app in Windows Store that lets assign any button to any function you want (with some limitations). --Paul
If I had to guess, this Surface Pen firmware update—described as " System Firmware Update – 10/6/2014" or " System Hardware Update – 10/6/2014" using Microsoft's inconsistent and confusing naming scheme—could be related to the apps in Adobe's Creative Cloud suite, which were just updated to support advanced functionality on Surface Pro 3 in particular.
But then I would have to guess, since Microsoft provides absolutely no explanation for the update. It just reads as: "Surface Pen Driver (v2.0.1145.0) enables additional upcoming configuration options for Surface Pro 3."
I'm curious what this means.
If you're familiar with today's configuration options, you know that Surface Pen includes some interesting functionality, such as the ability to launch OneNote (Modern) or OneNote (desktop) when you click the top button on the pen. It also provides right-click and eraser buttons on the barrel and works with the palm blocking technology in Surface Pro 3 to provide an accurate writing and drawing experience. Check out my article Surface Pro 3: Pen Primer for a quick overview.
And no, none of the other Surface models—including the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, both of which include their own Surface Pro pens—were updated this week.