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  1. Surface Pro 6 gets new driver and firmware updates to improve stability A handful of Microsoft's Surface devices have already received firmware and driver updates over the past few days, and today, it's time for the Surface Pro 6 to join the fray. The 2-in-1 tablet first released over two years ago is getting a set of updates focused on improving stability and security. Most of the updates seem to be Intel-related, including a new graphics driver. Here's the full list: Windows Udpate History Name Device Manager Name Update Intel Corporation – Display – 27.20.100.8681 Intel(R) HD Graphics – Display adapters Improves graphics and system stability. Intel Corporation – Extension - 27.20.100.8681 Intel® Display Graphics Adapter Driver Extension Addresses security updates and improves system stability. Intel - Extension - 1952.14.0.1470 Intel(R) ICLS Client - Extension Addresses security updates and improves system stability. Intel – SoftwareComponent - 1.62.321.1 Intel(R) ICLS Client - Software devices Addresses security updates and improves system stability. Intel - System - 2040.100.0.1029 Intel(R) Management Engine Interface - System devices Addresses security updates and improves system stability. Surface - Firmware - 11.8.82.3838 Surface ME - Firmware Addresses security updates and improves system stability. The updates for the Surface Pro 6 come very shortly after the Surface Studio 2 got its own set of updates. The two devices were announced at the same event in late 2018, and while the Surface Pro 6 has already received a few successors, we have yet to see a follow-up to the Studio 2, so that's still Microsoft's flagship all-in-one. As usual, you'll need to be running Windows 10 version 1903 or newer to get the updates, but since that version is no longer supported by Microsoft, you should already be using something newer. You can find the updates in the Settings app under Windows Update. Alternatively, you can download the latest driver package from here. Source: Surface Pro 6 gets new driver and firmware updates to improve stability
  2. Fifth and sixth-generation Surface Pro get firmware updates to improve stability Microsoft is once again releasing some firmware updates for Surface devices. This time, it's the Surface Pro 6 and the fifth-generation Surface Pro that are getting updated, with each getting a single update. The updates are actually nearly identical between the two devices, addressing security issues and improving the overall stability of the experience. For the Surface Pro 6, the update information is as follows: Windows Update History Name Device Manager Name Update Surface – Firmware – 235.3261.255.0 Surface UEFI – Firmware Addresses security updates and improves system stability. For the fifth-generation Surface Pro - or Surface Pro 5, as the page sometimes refers to it - the changelog is the same, but the update will come with version number 235.3440.768.0. They're pretty unexciting updates, but if you've been having problems with your device, this might help. There are no known issues with the update on either device, so it's presumably safe to go ahead and install it. As usual, the update requires users to be running Windows 10 version 1903 or newer. Most users will probably already be running a newer version of the OS, so it shouldn't make a huge difference, but if you're running an outdated version for some reason, you'll need to update Windows 10 first. Also, it's possible that the update is rolling out gradually, so you may not see it right away. Fifth and sixth-generation Surface Pro get firmware updates to improve stability
  3. With the way features are currently skewed, and the lousy quality of recent patches, every new PC should be configured with Windows 10 Pro. If you’re going to buy a Win10 Home PC, spend an extra $100 for the upgrade to Pro. Mark Hachman / IDG Sometimes I despair for the PC industry. Microsoft has, somehow, convinced people – even arguably sane industry pundits – that Windows 10 Home is “good enough” for its latest PCs, which is to say the Surface Pro 6 and the Surface Laptop 2. As best I can tell, you can’t even order a new Surface Pro 6 or Laptop 2 with Win10 Pro – you have to get Win10 Home, and then upgrade to Pro. (If you already have a license for an earlier “Pro” version of Windows, you may be able to upgrade using that license. See Ed Bott’s primer on ZDNet.) The fact that Surface Pro now ships with Windows Home hasn’t escaped the notice of many. But the “nothing to see here, carry on” response in blogland drives me up a wall. Microsoft adds a few features to Win10 Pro, compared to Win10 Home – Join network domains, group policies, remote desktop, BitLocker – but all of those fade in comparison to the one feature that every Win10 user needs: The ability to block updates. Microsoft’s official comparison list doesn’t mention the fact that Pro includes update- and upgrade-blocking settings (which are occasionally “accidentally” ignored). Home doesn’t have any. With Win10 Pro, you stand a fighting chance of keeping Microsoft’s mitts off your machine until you’re good and ready to apply updates or upgrades. With Win10 Home, you only have three ways to fend off forced updates: Set your internet connection to metered; Disable the Windows Update service, wuauserv; Use a third-party update blocker. Each of those approaches has problems. The metered connection kludge isn’t documented anywhere. Microsoft has not committed to refraining from updating or upgrading metered machines. This approach is simply an observation of the way Windows 10 Update has worked in the past; there’s no guarantee it will continue to work that way in the future. Disabling wuauserv is a scorched-earth approach that may have unknown and unintended consequences. I know that many of you have disabled the update service, and I respect the decision, but wonder if you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. Third-party update blockers have mushroomed in recent years. With more than a dozen to choose from, many of them highly rated, they may be the best alternative for Win10 Home (and even Pro) users. I still hesitate to recommend them because they’re programs from a source other than Microsoft that, quite intentionally, sit between you and your security patches. The risks for screwing things up – both intentionally and unintentionally – are enormous. Windows 10 Home leaves you open to the vagaries of Microsoft’s forced patching algorithms – Windows gets updated according to Microsoft’s schedule, not yours. If you’ve been following along, you know very well how that’s turned out. July and October were particularly egregious. If the Windows patches were marginally competent, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Month after month, though, we’ve seen how premature patches mess things up. I routinely hear conversations among muggles about how Windows bit their butts. And I never, ever tell non-combatants that I watch Windows updates. Win10 Home occupies an important niche in the Windows ecosystem: Cannon fodder. If you want Microsoft to control your machine, stick with Home. It’s good enough for you. And your screams help us in the peanut gallery figure out where the bugs lie. Is Win10 Home “good enough” for Surface Pro 6? No! If you’re going to spend $1,000 on a new machine, set aside an extra $100 to upgrade to Win10 Pro. Better to pay the piper now. Watch the watchers on the AskWooody Lounge. Source: No, Windows 10 Home isn’t ‘good enough’ for the Surface Pro 6 (Computerworld - Woody Leonhard)
  4. If you were planning to purchase a new Microsoft Surface Pro 6, there’s no better time to do it than now, as the software giant is offering a major discount for most of the available configurations. The price cut goes up to $200 on several models, and it will be offered until early February, so you have some seven days to get a Surface Pro 6 at a lower price. For example, if you want to purchase the configuration with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage, you can order it right now for no less than $999, down from the original price of $1,199. On the other hand, if you want a more capable version, the Intel Core i7 is available with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM for $1,299, down from $1,499. An even more powerful Surface Pro 6 with i7, 16GB of RAM and 5128GB of storage can be yours right now for $1,6999, a discount from Microsoft’s original price of $1,899.Get it while you still canThe rest of the versions are currently out of stock, though I expect them to become available once again at the Microsoft Store anytime soon. On the other hand, if you’re considering buying a Surface Pro 6 at these discounted prices, you should do it as soon as possible because the cuts are available only as long as supplies last. Microsoft’s Store obviously offers free shipping, but on the other hand, you’ll have to purchase the typical Surface accessories separately. No discounts are available right now, so, for example, a Surface Pro Type Cover is up for grabs for $129.99. The Signature Type Cover is offered for $159.99. The software giant hasn’t launched any other discounts for the rest of the Surface models for the time being. Source
  5. Microsoft Announces Major Surface Pro 6 Price Cuts If you were planning to purchase a new Surface Pro 6, there’s no better time to do it than right now, as Microsoft has just launched a series of major price cuts for select configurations. The software giant is offering discounts of up to $200, as well as free 2-day shipping in the United States. The Surface Pro 6 is thus available starting from $699 for the base configuration, though you should know that not all models are in stock right now. For example, the cheapest Surface Pro 6 that you can order online costs $999, down from $1,199, and comes with 256GB of storage, 8 GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i5 processor. Microsoft is also offering a similar discount for a 16 GB RAM option with 512 GB of storage and Intel Core i7, and this particular configuration costs $1,699, a price drop of $200 as well. The Surface Pro 6 also comes with a free Tumi sleeve that is normally sold for $79.99.Other discountsAt the same time, Microsoft provides customers with up to $300 discounts when purchasing a Surface Book 2 and the newly-released Surface Headphones. The price cut, however, depends on the configuration of the Surface Book 2, so for a 13.5-inch model with Intel Core i5, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage the price drops by just $100. These prices are only available when the Surface Headphones are also purchased. The original price of the Surface Headphones is $349 in the United States. And last but not least, when purchasing a new Surface device, Microsoft also offers an extra $20 discount if you subscribe to Office 365. There are several bundlesavailable right now, including one that includes a Surface Pro 6 with, a Type Cover, Microsoft Complete, and one year of Office 365, all for just $967.98, down from $1,247.98. Source
  6. Microsoft has released a set of driver updates to a few of its older Surface devices, including the Surface Pro, Laptop, and Book lineups. The updates are actually dated for November 5, but they were only added to the update history today, and Microsoft has interestingly labeled them as a gradual roll-out, so you may not have received them just yet. The updates are available on machines running Windows 10 version 1903 or newer, and mostly target issues with wireless connectivity. The Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro (2017), Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 1 and 2, and Surface Book are all getting these two updates: Windows Update History Name Device Manager Name Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. – Bluetooth – 15.68.17015.112 Marvell AVASTAR Bluetooth Radio Adapter - Bluetooth 15.68.17015.112 improves Bluetooth connectivity. Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. – Net – 15.68.17015.112 Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller – Network adapters 15.68.17015.112 resolves Wi-Fi connectivity issue. In addition to those two, the 2017 Surface Pro and the Surface Pro 6 are both getting another update: Windows Update History Name Device Manager Name Surface - HIDClass - 1.1.136.0 Surface Tcon Device – Human Interface Devices 1.1.136.0 improves system bugcheck performance. Finally, the Surface Pro 6 is getting an additional firmware update: Windows Update History Name Device Manager Name Surface - Firmware – 241.6.139.0 Surface System Aggregator 241.6.139.0 resolves an issue where the CPU will throttle down to .4GHz, and improves battery stability. If you have one of the devices above, you may want to check for updates to get the latest improvements. Since they're rolling out gradually, they may not be available for you just yet. Source: Older Surface devices get driver updates to address connectivity issues (via Neowin)
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