Microsoft patches Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 (again), but big issues remain

Surface Book and Surface Pro 4

Microsoft's Surface range may have made good strides on the sales front, but the latest devices launched with a depressingly long list of issues – and Redmond has just issued a major firmware update that tackles some more of these.

After the launch of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, Microsoft fired out several firmware updates in fairly quick succession, but problems still remained with the devices (one update even caused new issues, possibly because it was rushed out).

Indeed, last December, Microsoft even went as far as to issue a formal apology to users who have been frustrated by these various Surface woes.

With this fresh update, however, Microsoft has certainly taken its time so you'd hope there won't be any hitches. This firmware patch doesn't fix everything, and as Paul Thurrott who spotted the update notes, the big issue with the Skylake processors and power management problems apparently still persists.

Surface solutions

So what does this latest patch fix? There are a couple of driver updates which address niggles with Wi-Fi and the Surface keyboard, along with tweaks for the battery and heat issues.

Microsoft notes that the fixes for the Surface Book are as follows:

  • Surface Embedded Controller Firmware (v88.899.256.0) adds battery charging enhancements and thermal tuning
  • Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth driver update (v15.68.9037.59) improves access point compatibility and throughput on 5GHz networks
  • Surface DTX driver update (v1.3.202.0) improves detection of the Surface keyboard to the clipboard

Also, Surface Book users who own a model with a discrete graphics solution get an Nvidia GeForce GPU update (v10.18.13.5914) which improves overall stability.

Surface Pro 4 owners get the first two fixes listed above, along with a Surface Fingerprint Sensor driver update which is supposed to improve the accuracy of the sensor.

Those are definitely some useful patches, and with any luck more will be on the way.

Microsoft was also recently hit by a fire risk scare pertaining to power cords for the Surface range, although this affected older Surface Pro models and not the Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book (for the exact details, check out our story here).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).