Tipped off to an official Surface Ethernet adapter I wasn’t previously aware of, I figured that Microsoft had finally gotten it right because, after all, no existing Ethernet adapters work on Surface RT. But it turns out the joke is on me, and on all Surface RT users: Even Microsoft’s official Surface Ethernet adapter does not work with Surface RT.
Way back in May, Rod Trent wrote in Microsoft Surface Gets a USB Ethernet Adapter that Microsoft had released an official Surface USB to Ethernet Adapter. But don’t get caught up in the too-expensive price tag of $39.99, as this little wonder has a bigger issue. It doesn’t work with Surface RT.
Of course, you have to read carefully to figure that out. “The Surface USB to Ethernet Adapter connects your Surface Pro to a network when Wi-Fi is not available,” a note on the unit’s product page reads. So no RT.
Looking around to make sure this was correct, the support page for the Surface USB to Ethernet Adapter mentions that this information “applies [only] to Surface Pro … Surface RT doesn’t support use of a USB Ethernet adapter.”
Now, I already knew this, generally speaking. I’ve tested three different Ethernet USB adapters on Surface RT, and while all of them work without any fuss on Windows 8 (and more specifically on Surface Pro), none work with Surface RT. This is true after installing the Windows 8.1 Preview update as well. Yes, I checked.
OK, so I’m behind the times in not realizing that Microsoft has already delivered a Surface USB to Ethernet Adapter. But how the heck could Microsoft release a mainstream Windows operating system in 2012 and then update it in 2013 and not include Ethernet support in either??
I’m sorry. That is crazy.