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Update: Microsoft pushes firmware fix to more Surface Pro 2 owners

Update: Microsoft pushes firmware fix to more Surface Pro 2 owners

'Looks like the problem is fixed,' says one user referring to battery, sleep/hibernate glitches

Late Monday, numerous owners of Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet said that their devices had received the long-awaited firmware update meant to fix problems introduced by a faulty December update.

"I'm on East Coast (Connecticut), didn't get firmware update available till this afternoon, and I was checking a few times a day since last Tuesday," said someone identified as PC Developer on a Microsoft support forum Monday.

"So far so good...." wrote IncredibleGonzo, who reported that some quick testing indicated, "Looks like the problem is fixed."

The number of received update reports Monday was much higher than over the weekend, when Microsoft said it had issued the fix, hinting that the Redmond, Wash., company had rolled out the new update in stages.

As late as the early hours of Monday, many Surface Pro 2 owners continued to rant that they had not seen the fix.

Microsoft refreshed its Surface Pro 2 update history page Monday to reflect the January re-release. "Updated UEFI firmware, version 2.04.0350, to resolve behavior where the Surface failed to enter sleep while idle, negatively impacting battery life," the page stated.

The update was required because the Dec. 10 original crippled some Surface Pro 2 tablets. Owners complained that their devices were consuming battery power much faster than before, refusing to charge completely or declining to show charging progress, exhibiting odd behavior related to sleep and hibernate modes, and rebooting with no warning.

Days after the initial release, Microsoft pulled the update from its Windows Update service and acknowledged it as the source of the troubles.

From users' commentary on a pair of long support forum discussion threads, the new update -- which was tagged with a Jan. 18 date -- solved the battery and sleep-mode problems.

The flawed update -- as well as the five-week wait for a fix -- soured some on the Surface Pro 2, with several on the support forum saying that they had returned their devices and bought Windows 2-in-1s built by other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). A few were angry enough to claim that they would stop recommending the Surface Pro 2 to friends and colleagues.

Microsoft has been nearly silent about the episode. It has not posted a blog explaining the problems -- a practice it frequently uses with Windows glitches -- and while support representatives contributed to the discussion threads early on, they quickly disappeared, leaving users to stew. In several statements issued to the press over the last month, Microsoft spokespeople said the issues affected only a small number of customers. Surface Pro 2 owners, however, remained skeptical.

The new firmware update can be downloaded by running Windows Update on a Surface Pro 2.

This article, Update: Microsoft pushes firmware fix to more Surface Pro 2 owners, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

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