Microsoft Talks About Improving Surface Device Experience Through Windows Update

Microsoft Surface blog today detailed how they are improving the overall Surface experience using Windows update. Every month, Microsoft delivers a product firmware update that improves the device experience for users. For example, they have done the following through updates so far.

  • Improving your connected experiences with more robust connections to more network types
  • Improving the visual experience with better color rendering, wireless displays and better graphics performance
  • Making your keyboard smarter in more positions and more precise at capturing your commands
  • Improving the sound of your Surface
  • Providing the Windows 8.1 Update and its new improvements for free.

How to get Windows Updates?

If you didn’t opt in to Windows Updates when you set up your Surface you can turn them on at any time (Swipe from the right. Tap Settings. Tap Change PC Settings. Select Update and Recovery, then Windows Update). We generally release updates on a monthly cadence, most often second Tuesday of the month. If you are set up to automatically receive updates they will come to your Surface in the background while you are online and your network is not too busy with other things. Once there, they will automatically install the next time you restart your Surface. (You may notice your Restart button change to Update and Restart, for example.) For important stuff, if you haven’t restarted yet, you will be prompted to update and restart four days after your Surface receives the updates. That’s it until the next month. You can also check for updates manually at any time at the same place.

Source: Surface blog

  • benjitek

    It’d be better if they told you what the updates did. For example, today (4/15) an update suddenly appeared for my Windows 8.1 (Update 1) Surface Pro 2 — it was dated 3/11 and merely states ‘hardware updates’. Clicking ‘More Info’ takes me to a generic Microsoft web page with no-info.

  • Azjerei

    There is a major bug they need to fix. Sometimes, about 60% of the time, my Surface Pro 2 just refuses to boot. No matter how I do it. I press on the power button once, I press and hold. I disconnect the type cover and try both variants, I connect the charger and try both variants.. Nothing seems to work. Then, after 20-40 minutes of endless trying, it just boots up. There are some people who’ve been trying for hours as well. This is a SERIOUS bug, and it needs to be addressed… It is bad for UX :(

    • NGM123

      My wife’s Surface freezes every time she uses the search field no matter what I try and mine used to randomly and frequently freeze for no reason at all, but mine seems to be a lot better now after a recent update, so certainly the updates are improving things.

  • Willem Evenhuis

    When will contextual search from windows 8.0 come back. I’m missing this a lot. It’s gradually disappearing as originally designed from the start, and microsoft, in my honest opinion is not promoting it enough to developers to make optimal use of it.More developers are making their own iin app searches, but I’m refering to the contextual app search through the charms bar. It’s such a good experience for me on a touchscreen device like my surface pro. But soon after 8.1 things started to change drastically and microsoft also agressively changed the function of the charms bar search function. To this day I do not understand this change and have read no major negative review of its usefulness.

    • Bugbog

      I think it’s gone for good now! :( Before the 8.1 update, the last app that was working with the Search Charm was the Metrotube app, now after the update even that no longer works.

      Which idiot (or group thereof, I unfortunately cannot think of a milder, more PC friendly word that can expressly convey my level of irritation, annoyance and displeasure at the removal of this useful feature) decided on rendering the charm search useless? I can understand that for the majority of “idiots” that supposedly can’t figure out (or be taught) that all they need to do is swipe in from the right to tie in a search option (or for the keyboard complainers) and needed to have it displayed for them front and center, but why diminish its for us users that loved it’s functionality?!!

      Why some idiot would think that whilst using an app, I would swipe in the search charm so that it can do a search for items on another page outside of the app I’m in, I have no idea?!

      The Search Charm is now just decoration. Thanks Microsoft.

      • magicrobots

        You guys sure about this? I’m in IE and swiping in and selecting the search bar allows me to choose the context; from “everywhere” to “Internet Explorer.”. Same options in Files & Folders.

        • Bugbog

          Yay you found one item that works. (Sorry not really trying to be snarky). That may literally be the only thing that works. All I get for most apps is:
          Web images
          Web videos

          That’s it. (This is from the drop down arrow, by the way).

          But think about it, with the exception of a word search on the page, isn’t a search in IE just about the most useless tie-in of the search charm? I mean, wouldn’t you just, search the web?!!

          • magicrobots

            Haha it just happened to be the first app I tried. Good point about search in IE. Pointless? Check.
            Guess it goes in an app by app basis – similar to Smart Glass support in XBox which is severely limited in the same way IMO. I understand why MS made it this way; to allow full OS flexibility. I just wish developers wouldn’t be so damn lazy and would utilize all of the tools that MS gives them to make their apps as useful and integrated as possible.
            Or maybe I wish MS made it easier for devs to implement this stuff. I dunno how it works.

            EDIT: what I can’t believe is that first party apps lack this functionality. Really guys?

          • Bugbog

            That apps have the ability to link in is fine, it’s the fact that in their first iteration they nailed it, that secondary and tertiary updates have rendered this feature utterly useless is just depressing.