In October the problem was Windows 8.1 itself. This month, I'm not talking about patches to Windows -- although heaven knows we're having enough problems with those -- I'm talking about largely undocumented, completely untracked problems with firmware upgrades. Upgrades that Microsoft is dishing out the Automatic Update chute -- and botching -- for its own machines.
What's wrong with this patch, this week, on the Surface Pro 2? Wading through several of the dozen-plus Surface Pro 2-skewering threads on the Microsoft Answers forum, these seem to be the major complaints:
- Installing the patch may fail with an Error 80070490. That's a catch-all error message we've seen in Windows for years. Microsoft employee and Answers Forum Moderator (or so his badge says... oh, you get the idea) Steven_B claimed it's a "false" error message in this case. Which is small consolation because...
If you do get the patch installed, here's what you may experience on your brand new Surface Pro 2:
- Problems with the battery charger -- many machines won't charge at all
- Inability to put your Surface Pro 2 to sleep, hibernate, or shut it down
- Overheating because of the inability to shut it down
- Wi-Fi doesn't work
- A wide array of hardware failures and booting problems
And here's another little bit of coal to dampen your holiday cheer: Microsoft isn't issuing a patch, and it isn't going to roll back the mess it's made. At least, that's what Josh_F's post implies. If you were stupid, er, trusting enough to let Automatic Update have its way on your new machine, you're stuck with whatever problems you may have, until after the new year. Resetting your Pro won't do anything, because a reset doesn't roll back firmware updates.
There are reports, though, that a rollback is in progress (see RamiAlam's post from earlier today). No definitive word from Microsoft, of course.