Microsoft has released a new update for the Surface Studio, three months after its last updates arrived. Like the updates that it rolled out for the Surface Book and Pro 4 earlier this month, this latest addition for its desktop PC is only being made available to Surface Studios that have been upgraded to the Windows 10 Creators Update, which Microsoft released last week.
Microsoft isn't upgrading the Surface Studio with new firmware, though. Instead, the latest update only includes a new "Realtek High Definition Audio(SST)" driver - version 188.8.131.5261, which "enables Wake On Voice from Modern Standby".
The company detailed its plans to support that feature at its WinHEC conference in December, although it was originally demonstrated by Intel in 2015. It will allow users to 'wake' their PC from a screen-off, low-power, standby state, simply by saying "Hey Cortana", much like on the Xbox One.
This was possible - to an extent - in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but effectively required PCs to be fully powered-up, with only the screen in a 'sleep' mode; in fact, Microsoft's own documentation acknowledged that the Anniversary Update "provides a checkbox to entice users to prevent automatic system sleep, such that 'Hey Cortana' can listen even when the screen is off." The Creators Update introduces 'true' Wake on Voice support for the entire PC from a Modern Standby state (also known as 'S0ix' - you can learn more in this PowerPoint deck from Microsoft), and the new Realtek audio driver is needed to enable it on the Surface Studio.
That functionality will no doubt be welcomed by the lucky few who have purchased a Surface Studio. So far, it's only been available in the US, but it's launching today in three new markets.