Microsoft has pulled its most recent firmware update for the Surface Pro 2 tablet following reports of errors, high CPU usage and dramatic drops in battery life post-install.
Released on the 10th of December as part of Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday update cycle, the new firmware for the company's flagship Windows 8.1 tablet was supposed to address a raft of issues ranging from poor WiFi stability and system crashes to overheating that caused the screen to dim during CPU-intensive activities. Sadly, users immediately began experiencing problems starting with an error code - 80070490 - which would appear post-install, suggesting that the firmware hadn't installed correctly.
At the time, Microsoft told users that the message was in error and not to worry, with the firmware installing correctly in the majority of cases despite the error message. Problems continued to mount, however, with users reporting system crashes, heavy CPU activity when resuming from sleep that would continue until the system was rebooted, and a dramatic drop in battery life compared to the older firmware.
Now, nine days after its release, Microsoft has pulled the patch from Windows Update. While that offers little consolation to those who have already installed the newer firmware, it means that users slower on the uptake won't suffer the same issues - although, naturally, won't receive the fixes promised by the patch either. Thus far, Microsoft has not provided a release date for a fixed copy of the firmware beyond promising it some time early next year.
This is far from the first time Microsoft has been forced to remove a patch from Windows Update following the discovery of serious flaws: 2013 has been a bad year for the company's quality assurance division, with high-profile patches being withdrawn in September
due to serious, show-stopping issues.