Microsoft Details the Fixes in the January 2015 Surface Firmware Updates

Posted on January 17, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface, The Sams Report with 0 Comments

In an unprecedented move, Microsoft has started providing detailed documentation about which issues were fixed in the latest Surface firmware updates. Now this is the kind of transparency we’ve been asking for.

I just wrote about January’s firmware updates, which apply only to the Surface Pro, Pro 2 and Pro 3 models, and Surface RT or Surface 2, in Microsoft Delivers Firmware Updates to Surface Pro Models Only. But in a new post to a new blog, Microsoft’s J.C. Hornbeck provides the first-ever color commentary for Surface firmware updates.

If you look over the original list I supplied, you will see that each Surface Pro model received a Surface Pro UEFI update. Hornbeck doesn’t actually explain those fixes for some reason, and each appears to offer very different improvements. But he does detail the other updates, all of which apply to Surface Pro 3. (The HD Graphics Family driver update information also applies to Surface Pro 2.)

Here’s what they fixed.

Intel(R) HD Graphics Family driver update (v10.18.14.4029)

  • Adds support for the Autodesk Mudbox 2015 paintbrush tool.
  • Ensures that unreadable text does not appear in the Microsoft Outlook calendar pane.
  • Improves performance of video display and zoom features in DirectX applications
  • Adds support for the fast cursor feature when using Miracast adapters, including the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.
  • Ensures there is no flickering/blank display on externally connected monitors, especially when connecting multiple monitors in a daisy-chain configuration
  • Improves compatibility with Samsung U28D590D and Dell 2713Hb monitors. Some customers reported they saw a change in screen resolution when the device is docked and connected to Dell monitor. This has been addressed in the update.
  • Adds additional support to enable better compatibility with Panasonic and Actiontec Miracast adapters
  • Ensures there is no unexpected battery drain while the Surface device is in Connected Standby mode.
  • Resolves KMODE_Exception_Not_Handled system crash when using Excel PowerMap
  • Resolves some instances of Stop 0x9F and Stop 0x133 system crashes.
  • Resolves system hang that could occur if f.lux was enabled by an application.
  • Resolves system crash that could occur when attaching to external monitors immediately after waking the device from sleep or removing it from the docking station.

Marvell Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth driver update (v15.68.3073.151)

  • As part of ongoing improvements to Wi-Fi experience on Surface Pro 3 device, customers now have the ability to manually select a preference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz connections for their device. We will publish a separate blog to describe this functionality further so more customers can take advantage of this capability.
  • Modifies power management logic to allow the wireless adapter to function properly when the Hyper-V feature is enabled in Windows.
  • For European Union customers, there are specific requirements outlined in EN 300 328 v1.8.1. This update includes capabilities to stay current on these requirements, including an LE switch to better control energy detection and Bluetooth Power setting.
  • Resolves a low throughput scenario when using Cisco 3702 access points in 11ac mode.

Surface Home Button driver update (v2.0.1179.0)

  • Improves compatibility with Surface Hub application.

Surface Integration driver update (v2.0.1182.0)

  • Improves compatibility of Surface Pro 3 with Windows 10.

Microsoft Docking Station Audio Device driver update (v1.31.35.7)

  • Addresses scenario where no sound would play while the device was docked without an external speaker connected.

That is an absolutely stunning and detailed list. Bravo, Microsoft. And please: keep it coming.

Note: OK, this isn’t entirely unprecedented. The company also provided this information about the November firmware updates. So this is the second time.