If you bought an original Surface tablet when it was first released in October 2012, you might have noticed that it did not have an Ethernet port. The tablet also didn't support any USB-based Ethernet adapters. There have been rumors that Microsoft was working on adding Ethernet drivers to Windows RT for the 8.1 release, but Microsoft never officially commented on those plans.
Now it appears that the Windows RT 8.1 update has finally added Ethernet driver support. In a page on the Surface support site, it states, "To use the Surface Ethernet Adapter with Surface RT you'll need to update to Windows RT 8.1 and check Windows Update." While this would appear to be a confirmation that Ethernet support has finally come to Windows RT; Neowin has emailed Microsoft for official confirmation.
Previous rumors claims that the Connected Standby feature for Windows RT would not allow external Ethernet drivers to work on devices with the OS. If the support page is true, it would appear that Microsoft has overcome those boundaries. It would certainly be good news for Surface owners who would like the option of connecting to a wired network instead of relying on a WiFi connection.
Update: Well, the Microsoft support page may show Surface RT works with an Ethernet adapter if you install Windows RT 8.1, but Microsoft's spokesperson has just told us the exact opposite. The spokesperson stated, ""... Surface RT and Surface 2 don’t support Ethernet adapters at this time." We are trying to follow up to see why Microsoft's support page says one thing and their spokesperson says another.
Thanks to Andy for the tip!
Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft