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Microsoft ships Surface firmware fixes with April patch batch

Wi-Fi, other issues addressed

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Along with the usual Patch Tuesday fixes for Windows, Internet Explorer, and other software, Microsoft's April 9 updates also include hardware driver and firmware fixes for its Surface RT and Surface Pro fondleslabs.

The releases mark the fifth time Redmond has issued fixes for hardware issues with Surface RT, which shipped in October 2012, and the third time it has shipped updates for Surface Pro, which launched in February 2013.

This latest batch for the ARM-based Surface RT appears to be focused entirely on resolving Wi-Fi networking issues. Microsoft's release notes say one of the fixes should resolve issues where the tablet reports "limited" connectivity – something March's patches also claimed to fix. Other code allows the fondleslab to connect to a wider range of access points and address system crashes related to Wi-Fi.

The patches for Surface Pro address a wider variety of issues, including problems with touch navigation in the UEFI boot menu, connectivity issues with Surface Type and Touch covers, support for Japanese keyboards on North American devices, and an issue where toggling airplane mode disables the Wi-Fi driver.

As with other Microsoft patches, the Surface fixes are delivered via Windows Update. Surface owners who have disabled automatic updates will need to initiate the update process manually; otherwise, the patches should download and install automatically.

The updates are cumulative, so anyone who installs the latest round of patches will receive all of the previous ones, too.

That won't be enough to please some Surface Pro owners, though. One longstanding issue, in which some advertised features of the Surface Pro's bundled stylus pen don't work with Adobe Photoshop, has yet to be resolved.

On February 12, a Microsoft rep told ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, "The Surface pen does work with Photoshop, which runs on Surface Pro, though advanced features such as pressure sensitivity and eraser functionality may not be available at this time. Microsoft is working with the necessary partners to make advanced features of the Surface pen available across a number of applications in the near future."

Here we are in the near future, but a solution has yet to appear. Redmond hasn't said much more about the matter, but it's believed that it may be up to Adobe to patch its own software to resolve the issue. ®

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