Microsoft Surface gets slew of patches, reportedly improves app performance

While we think Microsoft’s Surface is a solid first attempt, there are some minor issues with the OS and hardware that still need to be worked on. One of those is performance as animations and app load times aren’t always the smoothest nor fastest. Still, being a version 1.0 product we know Microsoft will be tweaking things along the way.

Such is the case with today’s update that has gone out to the Surface RT. The update, part of “patch Tuesday” contains eight parts including a firmware update related to security. Over at the Verge they claim that the update also improves performance of apps starting up: “On average, apps launched around two seconds faster than before, a noticeable improvement.”

That is certainly good news as we think the Surface, while a little rough in some areas, can be greatly improved over the next few months with frequent updates. Our own update took about 20 minutes (device kept going into Standby) and it does require a soft reset. So far, performance looks good though it's hard for us to definitively say things are faster.

Have you updated your Surface today? If so , have you noticed any speed improvements?


Source: Microsoft; via The Verge


Reader comments

Microsoft Surface gets slew of patches, reportedly improves app performance


The whole Tweetro-debacle is pissing me off. This was the first app I tried that made me go WOW and was thinking I cant wait to show this off to my Apple fanboy friends. The integrated webbrowser is just awesome.
And then it jus dies. MS just cant seem to catch a break.

No I think it is.  Anything I clicked in IE was like BAM and it was there.  Crazy fast browsing speeds now.

I really want one, glad to see it will be even better when it becomes available in my country.
Microsoft is really hurting themselves by not releasing this worldwide. Sales will no doubt be lower then that of the iPad but without worldwide availability the figures will really pale in comparison. And sales will get compared with the iPad, no doubt about it. The stories about how Surface sales dont even come close to that of the iPad will be second page news, it will diminish Surface's its reputation and Surface could end up like Zune.

Ballmer already said that Surface sales are only modest. Though MS is currently doing damage control with that statement.

Actually that's not what Ballmer said. He was specifically talking distribution channels. There is clarification about this all over the web.

For Microsoft the world starts and ends with the United States. Then they scratch their empty head and wonder why the heck is Windows Phone share still at an insignificant ~3%

Who is the "we" to whom you refer?  Is that the consensus of the people who run this site or have you just decided to adopt the royal "we" when presenting an opinion?

Checking for updates now... Don't wait for Surface to become available in your country, do as I did and order it from the Microsoft store and import it. It's worth it, in my opinion.

I'm updating but I think the process may be dangerous. A firmware update is included and it shows "do not turn off your computer" throughout the process, but a user can do it anyway without connecting to a charger! I'm not sure if it checks the remaining battery percentage before proceeding. If not, the update process can potentially brick a Surface if the battery is drained out in the middle of the process.

what are you talking about, this has been the same type of update laptops etc have done for ages.  of course they've factored that possibility in and will not "brick" your unit

I'm still getting the stuttering issue while using PushPod. Though it is much less frequent now.

I updated. Not noticing any thing yet, a previous poster mentioned the playback "shutter" sound while not connected to wireless. I hope so. That sounds is painful and should be fixed.

my screen transitions between horizontal and vertical seem much smoother.  huge plus for that.
apps still take forever to load up...but thats every tablet ive ever used.

screen transitions does become smoother. and i noticed a much faster third party app load time as well, eveything before is smooth, now fast and smooth. alough the mail app is still buggy and i would like that to be fixed...

Also is it me or did they change the color of the volume control?  i could have sworn it was red now it's blue.

I still cannot connect to our corporate wireless network.  We are using enterprise class Cisco wireless access points and my Surface is unable to authenticate.  WP7.5, WP8, iPhone, and iPod connect without any problems.

I connect without any issues to our Cisco enterprise wireless network. What encryption method does your work use? The surface rt supports the same methods as Windows 7 and the settings look exactly the same to me. My connection auto detects all settings and allows me to use my standard username and password. I would check with your admins to see if you have to do anything else. I am a Cisco qualified wireless engineer and it may be the case that too many attempts to connect may have locked your device out. Just a thought.

If any one else cares, these updates are for all Windows RT devices, not just the Surface.  They are available on my vivo tab rt

I read this article on my Surface, then grabbed the updates and installed them. I am noticing a very palpable difference in speed and smoothness all the way around, especially with IE, opening, & swiping in particular.

Downloading now. I hope this fixs this fade to black problem while I'm watching videos. Its like trying to use Bing's turn by turn navagation. You have to touch the screen constantly.  a little bit annoying.

Yes, a lot smoother with app switching and screen flows much better.  App launch is definitely and noticibly faster than before. 
Has anyone experienced network connectivity issues at Starbucks?  Seems like the AT&T HotSpot redirect page doesn't come up sometimes and I had to completely reboot the OS in order for the network settings to reset?  Thanks.

Apps have to launch faster, the faster & lighter it gets the better it will become. Also with battery life enough is never enough and since they skimped on the display, they could have given us a 128GB model for $700 (when the next iPad comes out with that capacity they'll be toasted so 2nd gen needs to adress that). 

I still bring my iPad 3 instead of my Surface RT on the train with me to work :/ Main culprit? Video playback. GoodPlayer on iPad plays back all of my stuff problem free. Surface RT is *extremely* picky on what it plays making it a complete headache to play stuff back on. They really need to fix this. I want to bring my Surface instead!

Could you please give some more detail? I'm looking to get one, however I'd like to keep my options regarding warranty and for replacing the unit if something happens to be defective. I thing that may be an issue if I'm not in one of Microsoft Store supported countries. (Btw, I've seen the option in all European Microsoft Stores for shipment to other countries but I'm not in one of those...)

I just received my Surface yesterday, so I can't tell you something about improvements, but I immediately downloaded the firmware update and I think the tablet is pretty fast.

I have seen a HUGE improvement in performance. My pet peeve was the stuttering audio via music app when multitasking. The update has completely eradicated that. App switching, web page loading, panning, all noticeably improved. I'm very pleased that Microsoft is pushing out updates quickly to address these problems. Bodes well for the future.

I am very pleased with my Surface RT. I had hesitation to buy the ARM device since I thought I would miss some legacy applications that will never be ported to ARM, but I've been using it for three weeks now and I really see the future of Intel a bit uncertain... unless the get their Atom perform as well as ARM in both speed and battery life. Time will tell.
I'm trying to be really objective with regards of the firmware update I applied recently, and I do believe there is a performance improvement, especially in opening applications. Regarding the hardware I get good comments from people about the quality of the device and the bright ideas of the stand and keyboard. My phone is feeling a bit jealous because I use it less now.
Whoever said that mouse and keyboard are dead is making a big mistake. A great number of websites are not touch friendly, many expect that you can hover a menu to then expand and you can't hover with touch. I have tried very hard to justify buying other tablets but their browser performance, their lack of keyboard and mouse support was a key factor to wait for a better option and the Surface RT, with a real browser, desktop mode to have apps together side by side (ie use calculator while verifying your bank account), Office, keyboard and mouse is the first tablet that doesn't feel like a toy or a book reader, but like a real computer that will make my life easier rather than complicate it.