Microsoft Surface updates fix a range of issues

Microsoft’s Surface devices continue to be popular business tools, but since their launch, there has been a continuing range of niggles for each model, afflicting office and IT types that are otherwise enjoying the benefits of the light and powerful two-in-one devices. They continue to sell well as Microsoft tries to create a totem hardware brand to compete with Macs to help promote Microsoft OS and cloud services.

The latest round of patches help improve battery performance on the Surface 3-era models, a problem with rapid power drain that has aggravated users recently. It seems the issue related to some users with third-party battery extenders, but has been fixed in software. The Surface Pen now performs better on Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 devices thanks to a Bluetooth driver update. The patches are now in Fast Ring testing, but should arrive for all users in early August.

Other recent releases, for those who don’t automatically update firmware include new drivers for the Intel integrated HD Graphics 520, and Smart Sound Technology Audio Controller and Smart Sound Technology OED audio driver for improved audio. The imminent Windows 10 Anniversary update will also add improved features to the operating system with improved Cortana functionality, better access to cloud services, and more.

In the mean time, executive users with older models or keen upgraders and power users will be keen to see what Microsoft can offer with its next generation of Surface devices. The bad news is that there doesn’t seem to be a major refresh on the horizon until 2017, which will coincide with the second major update to the Windows 10 operating system. That could bring a trio of new devices, with a Surface Pro 5, Surface Book 2 and the mythical Surface Phone.

All will feature the latest hardware that Microsoft can cram in, with Kaby Lake low-power processors and faster memory for improved performance, plus features like USB C ports, rechargeable Surface Pens and other practical benefits also high on the wanted list. It seems unlikely that Microsoft can improve on the Surface Pro 4’s screen, unless it opts for a range of different screen-sizes.