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firmware

Microsoft is keen on keeping the Surface Pro 3 running in tip-top shape, and that includes rolling our frequent firmware updates to get the hardware to perform at its best.

Starting at 1 PM ET today, Surface Pro 3 users can now grab the October 28 System Firmware Update, the second for this month. The changelog is detailed and significant, addressing many aspects of performance including the graphics, Wi-Fi, and even Windows 10.

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A new firmware update for the Lumia 625, Lumia 925 and Lumia 525 started to roll out just over a week ago for a few users and with it came a small, but useful feature: static IP. The ability to set one's particular internet gateway and IP details is something nuanced, but essential for some users on various networks. Windows Phone's ability to support static IPs is as far as we know dependent upon the phone manufacturer as the OS itself does not have this baked in.

The firmware itself is slight, coming in at just 18 MB. It bumps the revision number from 1425.0002 to 1425.0003 on most devices, bringing the new static IP option, network+ option and some bug fixes, according to reader of the site Vinod K.

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If you are one of the lucky people running a Surface Pro 3, you will want to head into Settings > Update and recovery to check for new updates today. Besides the usual slew of security and x64 patches for the OS, a new firmware update is also being distributed. Firmware is the essential feature to make the hardware and OS work better together, meaning they tend to fix bugs, improve performance, and optimize the user experience.

Microsoft has published the specific changes to this firmware, which is on a rolling basis (meaning you may not see it right away). Here is what is new.

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Starting at 1 PM ET today, Verizon Wireless has started rolling out the previous 1028.3566.1417.0047 firmware for their Lumia Icon owners. The update is not Lumia Cyan. Instead, this update came out in May for those running Windows Phone 8.0, but for customers who opted into the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, they did not receive the bug fixing firmware. Instead, they either had to downgrade and get the update or wait.

Now, Verizon is letting those on the 8.1 Preview update as well.

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As Nokia is wont to do, when Windows Phone 8.1 starts hitting their devices it will come with a host of Nokia enhancements — in this case it's being branded as Nokia Cyan. And it's coming to all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices. Yes, all of them. And, in typical Nokia style, the improvements will be focused around imaging.

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The next firmware update from Nokia, which will be bundled with the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 release, has had its internal codename – Lumia Cherry Blossom Pink – leaked thanks to screenshots published on a Chinese website. Just like Bittersweet Shimmer, which later became known as Lumia Black once released to the public, we expect Nokia to drop 'Lumia Cherry Blossom Pink' for a catchier phrase. Other screenshots were included to tease some of the features in the upcoming operating system update.

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In the next few months, Nokia is expected to release a forthcoming firmware update for their Lumia line. That should be no secret as we’re also expecting an OS update called Windows Phone 8.1. Firmware helps make your phone’s hardware better, and it’s very specific to your device. The OS though is general. That’s why the Developer Preview Program only gives the OS update, but requires additional firmware updates later on to complete the experience.

OS updates and firmware are like Sith, there are always two.

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Last week Microsoft pulled their latest firmware update for their Surface Pro 2 tablet. The update itself had caused issues on the devices of users who initially grabbed the update and Microsoft promised that a new update would be posted “after the holidays”. To our surprise (and delight), the update will actually be right around the corner instead of early 2014.

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We recently took a look at the Dell Venue 8 Pro, an admirable 8-inch tablet running the full version of Windows 8.1 (32-bit). Well-built with a Quad-Core Atom processor and priced at just $299, the Venue 8 Pro has a lot going for it besides just speed.

One optional accessory with the Venue 8 Pro is a stylus, allowing users to take notes or write out emails using a battery-operated pen. While not as fast as physical keyboard, it’s often quicker than using the on-screen, virtual one, which is more common.

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Although AT&T users are finally having their day, T-Mobile is swooping in with another firmware update for their flagship (and Windows Phone Central favorite) Nokia Lumia 925.

By heading into Settings > Phone Update > Check for updates, users should now be greeted with a message about a new one being available. The update is strictly related to firmware and it will bump it from 1330 to 1336.

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Update 2:30 AM ET: We have secondary confirmation that these images and features are authentic. More information at the end of the article.

Later this year, towards the November time frame, Microsoft is rumored to be releasing Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 3 (GDR3) along with alleged new firmware from Nokia named “Bittersweet shimmer” (originally reported by the site Nokiapoweruser). The OS update will once again enable new hardware features like advanced Qualcomm processors and 1080P display resolution, but it will also have numerous enhancements for current devices. The release will coincide with the availability of Nokia’s Lumia 1520 with a 6-inch display.

Tonight, a poster in the Windows Phone Central Forums with the handle xs2k has posted alleged screenshots running Windows Phone 8 OS Build 10484, supposedly taken from a Lumia 920 developer device picked up on Craig’s List.

Windows Phone Central has not been able to verify the authenticity of the screenshots but it does match what our inside sources have revealed to us off the record.

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Nokia is slowly rolling out its Amber firmware bundled with Microsoft's GDR2 update, but it's no fun having to keep checking your phone every few hours, seeing whether or not you've got a notification to update. Nokia has decided to whip up a solution and has released a page for consumers residing in Europe to receive a hint as to when their Lumia Windows Phones will be bumped to the latest version.

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