When I wrote about my experiences using the Windows 10 Insider Preview on Microsoft’s new Surface 3 tablet last month, I noted that the process was excruciatingly lengthy and some drivers were missing in action. Last night, however, I noticed that Device Manager was clean in Surface 3—meaning that those missing drivers had been mysteriously installed at some point. But now I know why: Microsoft has delivered a full set of Surface 3 drivers for Windows 10. So it’s now safe—within the confines of any beta—to install the Windows 10 Insider Preview.
In Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 + Surface 3, I noted that two drivers were initially missing: Bluetooth LE Device and Solo Sensor V2. And at the time—Microsoft had yet to ship Surface 3 publicly—there was no way to fix this, since downloadable Surface 3 drivers were nowhere to be found.
For its Surface Pro devices, Microsoft does provide a complete set of drivers and firmware updates. But this isn’t available (yet?) for Surface 3. And checking Surface Support today, I don’t see anything like this for Surface 3. (UPDATE: Barb Bowman tells me that Surface 3 drivers are in fact in that driver set, and looking at the downloads, she is correct. But the web site still doesn’t say that Surface 3 drivers are included, so it’s unclear how anyone would find them.)
But that’s OK.
As noted, I just happened to notice that Device Manager was clean on Surface 3. (I was looking around in preparation for installing a leaked build.) This morning I found out why: Microsoft has delivered Surface 3 drivers for Windows 10 to Windows Update.
I’m not sure exactly which drivers are available, as this happened without my knowledge, but I’m guessing it’s more than just the two drivers I noted previously. In other words, it probably updated other drivers too, even though the base Windows 10 install provided working drivers for other devices.
In any event, this means it’s now OK to test Windows 10 on Surface 3. Given the limited storage on these devices (64 GB to 128 GB) it’s probably not a great idea to try dual-booting between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, and of course the “it’s not quite BitLocker” encryption that ships on the device will make this difficult if not impossible anyway. (At least with full BitLocker you can disable it temporarily or permanently).
I’m going to play around with a leaked build today, but I’ll probably blow it back to Windows 8.1 later and reinstall an official Windows 10 Insider Preview build just to see which drivers are offered.