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Surface Pro 3 gets new but small out-of-schedule firmware update

surface pro 3

Microsoft has just released a new, but small, firmware update for its Surface Pro 3 tablet, just a week after it released a larger update for the 12 inch Windows 8.1 device during "Patch Tuesday."

The only thing that's mentioned on the Surface update history page for this update is this: "Surface Pro UEFI (v3.9.150.0) adds features to display BIOS password state and asset tag information, as well as improving boot times in some scenarios."

What do you think of Microsoft trying to offer more rapid updates for the Surface Pro 3? Thanks to Gerry for the tip!

Source: Surface update history

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Reader comments

Surface Pro 3 gets new but small out-of-schedule firmware update

72 Comments

Yeah. The advantage of the Pro series is that you can actually finally get rid of IE and replace it with a good browser ;P

Have no complaints about its performance on the SP3. So, there goes Forbes' article...

By the way, I didn't mention any web browser. I could be refering to Firefox which is also better than IE.

You obviously didn't read the article. It says nothing about performance, and everything about battery life. ALSO, there really is nothing that makes IE worse than Firefox or Chrome.

Except I did. He said something about replacing IE with a good browser, then the other guy pointed to an article that said that Chrome drains battery life. The first guy then retorts with how the report is wrong because Chrome performs better, which wasn't even the point of the article linked at all.

Oh! I thought you meant the article in WPC. Haha. My bad dude. Sorry. I thought you were going somewhere else with that

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IE indeed improved a lot, but still it is behind these two browsers. I can only use IE on my Surface RT right now so I kinda understand the frustration.

Duh, if they both do more and offer more than IE, of course they'll take more energy. That's like saying a high quality game takes more battery out of your phone than Angry Birds. It's common logic.

They ran the EXACT same test on all browsers. None of them ran anything more or else.

You don't seem to understand how browsers render pages.

Exactly though. All browsers only ran what each one could do. Because it would be wrong that one browsers couldnt do more, like the rest.

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@exkerZ

What's that supposed to mean?! All these browsers can render any proper code, and IE is no exception, unless the website is coded badly and is non-standard.

From the moment IE can't, for example, do add-ons like Chrome and Firefox, there's no point in rendering pages for tests. If you have a browser, like Chrome for example, that has much more functionality than IE, doesn't matter what you turn-off or do, you CAN'T compare them for battery required because you're comparing different things.

Just like you can't compare the power consumption of Android with the power consumption of WP. If you have something build that needs less because it does less, of course the results will be different.

There's a reason Chrome consumes more: it's build to DO MORE. At any rate, the thing that is mentioned in the Forbes article is being addressed by Google. I get it: there are IE fanboys here. Fine. Just don't try to turn a turd into gold, no matter how much you like the turd. IE isn't a great browser. It hasn't been for years.

Oh hey hey DCJB, that isnt too fair now. IE isnt the best browser, but it certainly isnt a turd.

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I have a problem with misinformation; that's all.

A browsers main and most important purpose is to BROWSE, and properly.

Yes, IE lacks in add-on department, but in those tests they didn't install any add-ons. They weren't out to test add-ons. They tested clean browsers, so chrome wasn't doing anything more there. Get your information right.

Tell me, when two phones, one WP and one android, sit idly on a table, what does the android phone do more in that moment? Your logic is flawed. It might be capable of a few more things, but it doesn't do ALL of them at the same time to consume more.

In the end, the fact is this: IE offers a better battery life in its clean state compared to chrome in its clean state, but lacks in add-ons department.

Install some add-ons on chrome, and the battery life will be reduced further.

I'm not saying chrome is bad and IE is better; but we can't deny that besides add-ons, IE is now a very slick browser.

This isn't the IE6/7 era anymore.

P.S. Also, IE does have add-ons, although developers tend not to make that many for it. The main add-ons that I need, an ad blocker, is built-into IE already, and the other one, a video downloader, is available through Internet Download Manager's add-on.

For the record, I also use firefox, but even there I don't have any add-ons installed, besides ad-blocker and internet download manager. I like them clean and fast.

1) The tests in question were run on indentical pages doing identical things, rendering identically

2) The tests did not involve add ons or extensions and were clean default browser configs.  None of the browsers were 'doing more'

3) The bug in Chrome has been publicly acknowledged by Google and is already fixed in their latest dev branch

4) The bug affects the entire system, even when you are not using the browser directly, if it is open it is sapping battery life

5) As pointed out in the article, while the bug does not occur in the dev branch, unfortunately other changes seem to cause issues reducing it to even worse performance

6) FF is pretty bad for a number of reasons, and is well behind both Chrome and IE in security, performance and memory management

 

I personally use a mix of IE and Chrome, depending on the website and purpose.  I use SRWare Iron since it is Chrome minus all of Google's spyware/tracking and find it to be generally excellent.  However on my SP3 in tablet mode, I use IE exclusively due to its superior touch interface and battery life.

IE Metro does not allow add ons, and thats why I use it often - as it does not attract malware that can often come via extentions and vulnerabilties in them.

For the sake of the Web, browsers should be pure and plug in free - and the pages be created equal amongst all browsers. Where I work, browser add ons are outlawed during product selection as plugins = lock in and poorer security,

I read your whole article. At the price of battery life, ill choose power and ability.

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"Ability"? Please explain, in real life terms, how IE 11 has less "ability" than Chrome? I know of addons, but I never use those in Chrome or Firefox when I'm on Windows or Safari when I'm on OS X.

I can name my favorite. Instant page loading.

But uh, let's not fight. I like chrome a bit more. It has what i personally need, so i do consider it more powerful.

That said, i love IE on my surface. No way i would ever use chrome on a surface pro device either.

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"I don't see it, hence it's not true"

It is. Go read anandtech's recent test. Chrome is dead last in battery life. IE achieves 45-60 minutes more battery life.

(Don't just look at the charts; read it thoroughly and also the second article)

Also, there is nothing wrong with IE. I, too, went with firefox in IE7/8 days, but went back with 9 which was improved a lot and 10/11 are really good.

Not only that, but IE 11 is faster and better in some web test versus Chrome and Firefox. Specifically HTML5 performance tests. Try the Fishbowl test.

As a die-hard Chrome user I would like to weigh in. I have loathed IE for years and could only be bothered to use it when a Microsoft site was clearly designed to work horribly on anything else but IE. I write this to make sure I am not mistaken for some fanboy.

As a desktop user (Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch) I do not see my use of Chrome changing in the near future. It is perfect for my needs. IE for the desktop is still wanting in many ways. However, when I bought my Surface Pro 3, I did so hoping it would be the tablet which doubles as a laptop. Nevertheless, the tablet mode (i.e., Modern UI) is how I intend to use it as much as possible. It has already replaced my iPad 3 and is quickly becoming a replacement (or great backup) to my X1.

What I have discovered is that the Modern UI version of IE is very well designed and performs better than expected. I did not understand this until I began using my Surface as a tablet. That is, focusing on touch rather than keyboard and mouse. The placement of the controls, including the address bar, now make perfect sense. They are right where I would want them to be: at the bottom where most of my gestures take place.

IE is also well designed to maximize the experience so that each web page feels like an app. This is awesome, especially when many content providers are still withholding legimate Windows Store apps. The ability to perform a left gesture and pick any running app or website is seamless. Coupled with the Surface's true multi-tasking (via 2 or 3 panel display) capability, I have a tablet UI that is hands down better than anything else. I am very thankful for the design considerations put into IE. Therefore, on my Surface, IE is my default browser.

Thank you for weighing in with a balanced viewpoint. These browser battles are painful as each browser has its own pros and cons.

How the heck are you replacing IE with IE? Anyway, with Google now openly ignoring the standards, it's not a good browser at all.

Chrome is garbage. IE is better than chrome but I feel opera and Firefox to be the best. To bad the later don't have a metro integration in W8.

IE 11 is really good but we need more browser on windows phone. Don't need chrome but of possible tuan Firefox and opera

Thank goodness for the rapid updates. My wifi is dropping since the last update. Hopefully they can fix that soon.

My WiFi is slow and dropping also since patch Tuesday. Microsoft pulled several updates maybe this will fix the fix.

It has an update to the BIOS. But it's not an update only for the BIOS. At least that's what the article leads to believe.

I don't think this was MS trying to deliver more rapid updates. I'm guessing this was something that was pretty important that couldn't wait and they're not sharing the details. Just speculatin though...

I would expect a big update next week just before it goes global and yes it is good they are bringing updates to features and features to this and xbox one regular and often.

I'm all for a rapid firmware/update cycle for the Pro 3. I've honestly never enjoyed a piece of tech so much.

my wifi only runs at 72 mbps on my i7 SP3... super frustrating... also the hyper-v connected stand by issues need fixed very badly! was hoping it would solve those.

They need to fix the wifi.  It is seriously bad.  There are threads on MS support now that are hundreds of pages long.  I've tried mine and in every environment I've tried wifi performance and stability is terrible.  I don't know what they got wrong there but its serious.

 

I love my SP3 otherwise, but this is nearly a dealbreaker.  A tablet without stable and performant wifi is basically useless.

I've tried to re-create this wifi glitch, but have not been able to yet.  I've had the pro 3 for almost two weeks now. 

Windows RT had this issue where the wifi would die randomly or after going into sleep mode when closing it into the type cover. 

For the pro three, i have yet to have the wifi issue hit me after sleep mode by closing and opening or random disconnects. 

Ill take it though, only issue is the OS crashing when quittig hearthstone. 

The SP3 does not seem to have issues related to sleep and wifi, just wifi in general.  Mine connects and gradually slows down until its unusable, drops the connection, reconnects and starts over.  It refuses to connect faster than about 65Mbps despite being on a 1300Mbps AC capable network (it seems to connect only at 2.4Ghz and ignore 5.8Ghz networks entirely).

 

Its a pretty serious issue and is the one thing preventing the Surface from replacing all of my devices.  Unlike many, my wifi AP is not some cheap special, its a high end Ubiquiti solution, and I have been able to also repro the issue on my network at the office and at friends homes as well as with a second SP3.  Worse, the Windows network dialog implies the connection is better than it really is, often reporting 72Mbps even when netsh shows me its around 6Mbps.

 

Very frustrating and my only complaint with the device so far.  Too bad its a pretty big complaint...

Out of band I fine with me. The sooner the better. I never wait until patch Tuesday to check anyway. Release them like app devs do, when they are available. Keep up with the continuous deliver model.

Love the frequent updates... Love the surface... Talking about browsers I prefer ie11 on my surface pro 3 than any other browser. Used torch by Google and the quality wasn't the same. IE was so much better. IE is really improved. Use a surface pro and find out.

I am very please with my SP3. After upgrading from the Surface 2 This i7 256GB is amazing and can hold its own against MacBook Pro

Guys I tried the tweak below,  just today before the firmware was released & it seems stable for me ever since.

 

  1. Device Manager > Network Adapters
  2. Right mouse click on Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
  3. Select Properties > Power Management
  4. Uncheck "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power".

 

I'm going to reenable Power Management to see if the firmware resolved the WiFi issue.

 

All I want is the ability to use the "High Performance" power option on the SP3. They removed it for some reason for just the SP3, which is super annoying! I suspect it has to do with regulating heat and battery, but I want the option of using my device to its fullest performance capabilities at times... I used it all the time on my original Surface Pro and it turned it into a beast instantaneously. Now, although the specs are better with the SP3, the performance is sub-par. :(

Microsoft needs a better advertising department, the surface is easy better than other tablets but they fail to show it

I am very happy with Microsoft service and updates! They move very quickly when they find a problem and do there best in solving all the problems they find out about! I have a 1520 and a Surface Pro 3 and have been nothing but happy! I think Microsoft is doing great job!

Since installing this firmware update, I have lost my sleep options :(. powercfg /a reveals that only Hibernate and Fast startup are supported, everything else is unsupported due to system firmware.

I did install Visual Studio 14 today but other than that nothing else... so I'm just assuming it was the firmware update today that has changed this. Is anyone else seeing this? I can no longer set my lid close behavior to sleep :(

If hypervisor was installed with VS14 then your sleep stated will be affected as hyperv does not support connected standby

Yeah... I started to think something in VS was affecting it. I didn't realize that beforehand. Thanks for confirming. Do you know if I will get the standby/sleep functions back if I disable hypervisor?