Weekly Surface News Roundup – November 8th, 2015


Where is the time going? Wasn’t it just summer a little bit ago?

Anyway, here’s this week’s list of Surface related news stories for your information and entertainment.

  • Microsoft releases November Firmware
  • Surface Book is practically unfixable
  • Windows 10 Build 10586 (Threshold 2)
  • Apple is copying the Surface Book now?
  • Surface Pro 4 Headed to India in January
  • OneDrive limits reset.

Surface News Roundup - Firmware

Weekly Surface News Roundup: Microsoft releases November Firmware

Earlier this week Microsoft released firmware updates for both the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. The update was mainly to address some issues that folks have been experiencing with both of the new devices (mainly the video flickering). Here’s a detailed rundown of the included updates:

Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book Updates

  • HD Graphics 520 driver update (v20.19.15.4308) addresses some display issues, including some scenarios that result in screen flickering.
  • Display audio driver update (v8.20.0.659) supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.
  • Surface Embedded Controller Firmware update (v103.855.257.0) improves system stability.
  • Surface Pen Settings driver update (v10.0.302.0) adds support for future functionality on Windows 10.

Just for Surface Book

  • Surface System Aggregator Firmware update (v88.853.258.0) improves the keyboard and trackpad experience.

Related: Microsoft & Microsoft [divider]

Weekly Surface News Roundup: Surface Book is practically unfixable

We had a similar story Surface Book is also practically impossible to repair.

Like the SP4, this is due to the way Microsoft has to construct it to get all of the technology squeezed into such a thin case.

However, since you can replace the keyboard section easily enough, I think there’s some room for battery swaps and dGPU upgrades in the future. The only question is: will Microsoft offer such upgrades?

Related: iFixit [divider]

Surface News Roundup - Windows 10

Weekly Surface News Roundup: Windows 10 build 10586 (Threshold 2)

People in the fast track of the Windows Insider program have started receiving build 10586 on their devices. This build seems to be the Threshold 2 update which should be the “final and everything fixed” version of the initial release.

Anything after Threshold 2 will be considered “improvements” to Windows 10. Yeah, semantics, I know…

So what dues this build fix? Here’s the list from Microsoft:

  • The problem where any audio playing (like music from Groove, or videos from the Movies & TV app) gets reduced by 75 percent for a period of time after a notification pops up from Action Center is fixed.
  • Pressing the power button on your Surface Pro 3 should put your Surface Pro 3 to sleep instead of shutting it down.
  • We fixed an issue reported by Windows Insiders where a disksnapshot.exe command prompt window would flash randomly.
  • Windows should now remember your previous login type. For example, if you log in with a PIN — it will prompt you for a PIN next time instead of another type.
  • We fixed an issue where Tab previews in Microsoft Edge were appearing as black if the page was not scrolled to the top, and web note clippings were also appearing as black.
  • Small form-factor devices, like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, that boot with rotation or virtual mode screen size set larger than the physical screen size should no longer experience a bluescreen on upgrade.
  • Apps and games should download from the Store more reliably.

Unfortunately there are still some known issues:

  • After upgrading from one Windows 10 Insider Preview build to another Insider Preview build, Skype messages and contacts will disappear from the Messaging + Skype app. You can get Skype messages and contacts back by navigating to “C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Messaging_
    8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache” in File Explorer and deleting or renaming the “PrivateTransportId” file. After deleting or renaming that file, go to the Skype video app and sign out of Skype and sign back in.
  • The Insider Hub might be gone after upgrading to this build. You can get Insider Hub back by going to Settings > System > Apps & features and clicking “Manage optional features”, choosing “Add a feature” and selecting Insider Hub.

Anyway, assuming the people testing the 10586 build don’t find any showstoppers, us “regular folks” can expect to see this update in a month or two.

Related: MicrosoftThe Register [divider]

Weekly Surface News Roundup Apple is copying the Surface Book now

Weekly Surface News Roundup: Apple is copying the Surface Book now?

It used to be that Apple was the “trendy innovator” and Microsoft was the “has-been that copies and steals everything and makes minor improvements” but have the tables turned?

According to Patently Apple, Apple recently filed a patent for a device that look an awful lot like a Surface Book. Considering that Tim Cook (Apple’s CEO) has referred to hybrid devices as “Toaster Fridges” that “are probably not going to be pleasing to the user“, it seems a bit hypocritical.

Apple’s hybrid device would feature most of the outward features of the Surface Book but would link the two halves wirelessly with the tablet portion being, essentially just a screen. The processor, storage, and main battery would be in the base section.

Related: Patently Apple [divider]

Weekly Surface News Roundup Surface Pro 4 in India

Weekly Surface News Roundup: Surface Pro 4 headed to India in January

If you’re waiting for a Surface Pro 4 in India, your wait is almost over. A few days ago, Microsoft announced via SP4 will be available in early 2016.

During the Future Unleashed conference that happened in Mumbai on November 5th, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems to have narrowed the time-frame down to January.

Still no word on when the Surface Book will arrive but Microsoft India said they’ll keep everyone posted on future developments. Hopefully, our friends in India won’t have to wait long if they’re holding out for a Surface Book.

Related: Geeky Gadgets, Twitter [divider]

OneDrive Sync

Weekly Surface News Roundup: OneDrive limits reset

Microsoft is cutting the space it offers to Office 365 users via OneDrive from unlimited to just 1TB. This makes Microsoft the second major company to cut online storage limits due to abuse by some users. Amazon was the first.

So, starting next year, Microsoft will also reduce the free OneDrive option from 15GB down to just 5GB. Microsoft says the new allotments are because “a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average“.

As you might expect, though, Microsoft will still be happy to provide you additional OneDrive space if you pay for it.

Related: ZDNetMicrosoft [divider]

As usual, I’ll be posting yet another crop of news stories related to the Microsoft Surface line of devices next week.


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