Original Surface Pro gets firmware update to help with Windows 8.1 upgrade

Microsoft didn't release any firmware updates for the original Surface Pro and Surface RT tablets in September, but this week the company made a surprise firmware release for the Surface Pro, outside of its normal schedule, to prepare the Windows 8 tablet for the upcoming free Windows 8.1 update.

The Surface Pro update history web page shows the tablet got some UEFI and System Aggregator firmware updates with this October release. It also got some driver updates that Microsoft claims will "enhance the Windows 8.1 update experience", although specifics were not mentioned. Finally, the firmware update adds optimization support for the upcoming Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 accessories.

While Microsoft is no longer selling the original Surface Pro in retail stores, the tablet, which launched less than eight months ago, is still being sold by via authorized commercial resellers.

Apparently the original Surface RT tablet, which Microsoft is still selling in its 32 GB version for $349, won't be getting a firmware update for October.  Its own software history web page states, "In preparation for the release of Windows RT 8.1, no additional updates were released for Surface RT running Windows RT."

Source: Surface Pro website via WinBeta.org

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16 Comments

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Awesome firmware update. Mine failed, and every time I do a Restart, it gets stuck waiting forever at the "please wait, installing a software update" screen. If I do a shutdown, and then power it back on, there's no such problem however. Only when the Restart command is used.

Device Manager shows "Firmware / Surface Pro System Aggregator Firmware" with the yellow triangle...Properties show "Device cannot start (code 10)".

I tried windows 8.1 and for some reason I did not like it at all. There is nothing coming new on the desktop front and the new This computer and folder on top bars are making me really not want to upgrade anymore. I am running Win 8 and don't use Metro at all so I won't be moving to 8.1 even if it is free.

Rock Smith said,
I tried windows 8.1 and for some reason I did not like it at all. There is nothing coming new on the desktop front and the new This computer and folder on top bars are making me really not want to upgrade anymore. I am running Win 8 and don't use Metro at all so I won't be moving to 8.1 even if it is free.

8.1 is just a refinement. The ability to boot to desktop instead of Metro is a nicety. Having the Start button go to the app list instead of the Start Screen is another.

Honestly, the desktop environment is so mature i think improving on it is going to be very hard or too usage-specific...

Rock Smith said,
I tried windows 8.1 and for some reason I did not like it at all. There is nothing coming new on the desktop front and the new This computer and folder on top bars are making me really not want to upgrade anymore. I am running Win 8 and don't use Metro at all so I won't be moving to 8.1 even if it is free.

Me too.

Also the fact that 8.1 brings a lot of incompatibilities. Also the boot to desktop and start button are not enough for all the troubles.

Chikairo said,

8.1 is just a refinement. The ability to boot to desktop instead of Metro is a nicety. Having the Start button go to the app list instead of the Start Screen is another.

Honestly, the desktop environment is so mature i think improving on it is going to be very hard or too usage-specific...

Seriously, the desktop UI is already pretty much perfect. I'm fine with it not getting updated since 8.0 came out just a year ago and brought with it many improvements for the desktop that I use every day: multiple taskbars, separate wallpapers, ribbon in file explorer, better file copying, improved task manager, Win+X menu, etc.

The Surfaces might not have been the most successful things ever, but MS's support of them really sets a high bar for the other OEMs. Either that, or the other OEMs really need to talk up their updates more.

I sold a Dell Vostro machine because the video card drivers for it were a year old and incompatible with Windows 8 (despite it being sold with Windows 7). They used a special graphics chip that AMD didn't support, and evidently, neither did Dell.

greenwizard88 said,
I sold a Dell Vostro machine because the video card drivers for it were a year old and incompatible with Windows 8 (despite it being sold with Windows 7). They used a special graphics chip that AMD didn't support, and evidently, neither did Dell.
This is one of the reasons why consumers are ditching Windows PCs for tablets and smartphones. I swear, so many perceived problems with wWindows PCs are self-inflected wounds.

Chikairo said,
This is one of the reasons why consumers are ditching Windows PCs for tablets and smartphones. I swear, so many perceived problems with wWindows PCs are self-inflected wounds.

I hope none of these consumers are buying Android devices then!

I noticed new drivers installed on my Asus Vivotab RT also FYI! I love my Asus Vivotab RT tablet, and its a shame people aren't giving Windows RT enough consideration. In my opinion, Windows RT is superior to Android in that it gives you the full Windows experience (minus legacy apps). I was very surprised yesterday I could print a document from Office 2013 to my wireless printer, and I didn't even install the drivers for it.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Windows RT is superior to Android in that it gives you the full Windows experience (minus legacy apps).

While I love Android, I wouldn't say it's superior to Android, simply because of Androids app selection is better. And Win32 apps aren't considered legacy, they are still current apps.

xendrome said,

While I love Android, I wouldn't say it's superior to Android, simply because of Androids app selection is better. And Win32 apps aren't considered legacy, they are still current apps.


On the other hand, Internet Explorer can take over a lot the apps. For instance, youtube, facebook, banking, google maps etc , all work well on IE in both the modern and desktop interface. Angry Birds friends on Facebook plays on the IE also, which solves the lack of Angry Bird game in the store. I love Android and think its great, but the desktop plus the modern apps on Windows convinced to buy a Windows tablet.

This update solves my problem of external television continuously disconnecting and reconnecting on my Surface Pro with Windows 8.1 using the HDMI adapter of Microsoft.

According to my event viewer, it included new drivers for the following

Video
Sound
Wifi
Type Cover
Chipset/Storage/Intel ME/TPM
Lifecam
Bluetooth