Fifth Surface Pro 3 patch in two months still doesn't address the big problems

Nobody seems to know why Microsoft has quietly released yet another firmware update for its troubled Surface Pro 3 tablet

Microsoft just rolled out another firmware update for its troubled Surface Pro 3 tablet, and if there's an official explanation for this latest blast, I haven't seen it. The only notification I can find is one that appears on the Surface Pro 3 update history site, and it's a little short on details:

Surface Pro UEFI (v3.9.150.0) adds features to display BIOS password state and asset tag information, as well as improving boot times in some scenarios.

That's it. We're supposed to believe that Microsoft just sent out another knee-jerk Surface Pro 3 firmware patch to improve the display of BIOS password state and to improve boot times sometimes? Yeah, sure.

The Surface Pro 3 has had five firmware updates in a little over two months. The first patch appeared on June 13, the day the first Surface Pro 3 officially shipped. That patch was prompted by howls of pain over disconnecting Wi-Fi and a handful of additional obvious problems.

The second firmware patch arrived on July 8, and Microsoft hedged its bets -- knowing full well that the patch didn't fix all of the Wi-Fi problems -- by informing Surface Pro 3 customers that there would be another firmware update on July 16.

Sure enough, the third firmware patch rolled out July 16, and it still didn't fix several complaints, specifically overheating and random freezes. Some customers reported that the third firmware update messed up their Wi-Fi resuming from sleep, while the previous two patches had created no problems.

The fourth firmware patch came out just last week, on Aug. 12, and was designed to solve a handful of problems with the Surface Power Cover and the LifeCam. I didn't hear any loud sighs of relief for fixes to the earlier reported problems.

Now this fifth patch arrives unannounced, a week later, and I don't have a clue what it's really about -- what's so all-fired important that it warrants an out-of-band firmware patch, for heaven's sake? As best I can tell, there's no improvement on the overheating or freezing problems, either.

This story, "Fifth Surface Pro 3 patch in two months still doesn't address the big problems," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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