New updates coming to Microsoft’s family of Surface tablets should address many of the issues buyers reported when trying to use the home button on the Surface RT and the built-in LifeCam on the Surface Pro.
As detailed on the Surface website, Microsoft will first address the Home button issues that have plagued users of the Surface RT for some time now. With the new firmware update, users should be able to press the home button and have it take them to the Start Screen in Windows 8 on the first try. Until new many users had reported that it took them two or three tries before the capacitive home button would react.
Surface Pro improvements will include an updated driver that allows the device’s built in LifeCam to shoot better pictures in low light situations. Users had also reported that the device had trouble when switching between the Surface Pro’s built-in camera and external cameras. This should also address that as well.
Microsoft had already announced that it would add function key compatibility to the Surface line’s keyboard accessories, the Touch Cover and Type Cover. That firmware update is also available as of today, and should allow the devices, particularly the Surface Pro to continue to provide the experience of a full-fledged Windows device, in a sleek tablet form factor.
While Windows 8 and Windows RT will install these updates for users automatically as part of their Windows Update functionality, the updates can be manually downloaded at any time by heading to the ‘Settings’ in Windows 8 and manually checking for updates.
Today’s updates come nearly a year to the date that Microsoft announced the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets at a secret event in Los Angeles. While there are no hard numbers on actual sales of each model of the Surface tablets, numbers compiled by market research firm IDC indicated that thanks to the Surface family, Microsoft was now the fifth largest tablet vendor worldwide. In comparison, many of the company’s hardware partners have ever barely made it into the top five.
Reports from The Wall Street Journal have indicated that the company could be on the cusp of releasing a Surface tablet with a 7-inch screen aimed at devices like the iPad mini, and Kindle Fire.