Surface Pro 3 users have been getting pretty tense about the lives of their tablet/laptop hybrids over battery issues that somewhat mysteriously appeared just after the device reached the end of its warranty period. Some even already had theirs shipped for an out-of-warranty replacement, which, of course, costs no small amount of money. Hopefully, they can now breathe a sigh of relief as Microsoft has finally released the firmware update that will fix the issue once and for all. Or at least that’s the promise.
Early this month, users started reported a sudden drop in their Surface Pro 3’s battery life, mostly about how the tablets no longer seemed to charge fully and would die out quickly when using unplugged. Microsoft explained that this is simply a software issue with the battery firmware. In this case, the firmware misrepresents the actual amount of charge the battery has, so, in effect, the OS thinks the battery is full when it is actually running on empty.
As a software problem, the fix only requires a firmware update, which is now rolling out to users. Surface Pro 3 owners simply need to update their systems while the device remains plugged to a power source using the official cable and not the docking station. Users are also instructed to restart, not shutdown, immediately after the update has been installed.
Sadly, the fix didn’t come soon enough for users who might have panicked quickly and sent in their Surface Pro 3 for a replacement, even when it was already out of warranty. Although Microsoft necessarily needed time to prepare and test the update, an earlier statement regarding the nature of the problem could have saved those users from both headaches and costs. Microsoft doesn’t explicitly say what it will do in those cases, but a refund is going to be expected.