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Microsoft jerks Surface Pro 2 firmware update

Gregg Keizer | Dec. 20, 2013
Slates re-release for early 2014; tablet owners report a slew of power and sleep mode problems.

Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 2, its second-generation Intel-powered tablet, in late September.

Microsoft has pulled Surface updates before. In October, the Redmond, Wash. company yanked the Windows RT 8.1 update from its Windows Store after some Surface RT owners reported seeing the notorious "Blue Screen of Death" screen and an error message stating, "Your PC needs to be repaired. The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information."

Several days later, Microsoft re-released Windows RT 8.1.

Firmware updates are especially hazardous if they go wrong, as the code stored on a device's non-volatile memory -- the "firmware" -- is required to successfully boot the hardware and control aspects of the machine or device before, during and after the operating system loads. A faulty firmware update can easily "brick" a device, or render it completely inoperable.

In June, for example, Sony pulled a PlayStation 3 firmware update after customers reported that their consoles had gone to pot.


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