Microsoft Already Working To Fix The Home Button Issue For Artists In Surface Pro 3

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When Surface Pro 3 was originally announced last month, few artists like Penny Arcade’s  Gabriel pointed out the annoying home button issue while they are drawing on Surface. Whenever he was trying to draw , he kept brushing that home button and getting kicked out to the desktop. Microsoft Surface team invited him to the campus and a team of designers and engineers watched him actually draw to find a solution to the issue. Gabriel also pointed out how pressure sensitivity felt a little off to him when compared to Surface Pro 2 and then there was some lag. After few weeks, Microsoft team sent out few devices with fixes for him to try. For home button issue the fix is that basically when the pen is in contact with the screen the home button is disabled. It stays disabled for a couple seconds after lifting the pen up so that you can lift your hand up and select menu items. And for pressure sensitivity, they are trying various press curves. Even though Microsoft has not provided any updates on how they will deliver these fixes to end users, it is good to see them trying to fix it. Gabriel’s thought on Microsoft and Surface team,

It’s one thing to invite me out to give them my feedback. They very easily could have done that and then not done anything with it. Honestly I wouldn’t have blamed them. I mean the device is done and shipping in like a week. To see them come back to me with fixes for my problems was really amazing. They are putting time and effort into making sure the Surface Pro 3 does what artists want it to do. You hear a lot about MS being this massive company that doesn’t listen but that’s really not fair in this case. The Surface team seems incredibly passionate and open to hearing feedback about their baby. After I was done drawing I went out to lunch with some of the people from the team. I said to them “listen, I am an edge case. I don’t use this machine the way most of your users will use it. I understand this thing isn’t going to do everything for everyone.” Their answer was basically “why not?”

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About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • MajorRockStar

    Good answer…”why not?”

  • RoadOfMajor

    Even for non-artists the home button is annoying and easily activated. They should just get rid of it on the bezel and put it on the side. Apple did it right with the home button, they made it a physical button that is curved inside the bezel so it doesn’t activate accidentally.

    • Wtechrover

      Never had an issue as a non artist.
      Anyway, as you can read, Microsoft is looking into it.

      • Rico Alexander

        Me neither and never had an issue while playing with the demo units the last couple of weeks.

    • jagster

      I own a Surface RT and a work-provided SP2 (just upgraded from an SP1) and while I don’t have a problem with the rare accidental activation of the home button, I do prefer physical buttons like the iPad, iPhone, and the camera button on Windows Phones.
      I wish they would also dimly backlight or sandblast etch the Windows logo so that it’s easy to find in the dark. It’s really difficult to hit that button when you don’t have a light on.

    • Stuart

      Except that the mechanics of the button can break.
      The power button on my work iPhone collapsed on me after about 18 months, which made the phone a nightmare to use.