Improved Battery Life For Microsoft Surface Pro 2 In New Firmware Update

As the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 released, users experienced poor battery performance when it comes to web browsing and video playback. Shortly after, Microsoft pushed an update that addressed the issue. What the update does is allowing the Marvell WiFi solution to drive down to even lower power states, conserving more power and hence improving battery life.

AnandTech performed tests on the Surface Pro 2 after updating to the newly released firmware and noticed a 16% increase when playing back video compared to the previous firmware tests made. Here is a screenshot with the updated benchmark results:

Also, Surface Pro 2 now manages better battery life than Surface 2. Microsoft told AnandTech that their internal target was over 8 hours, and this firmware update brings it up to snuff via a nearly 25% increase in battery life when performing a browsing battery life benchmark test. The screenshot below represents the benchmark results for this test.

A software update also rolled back the Surface Pro 2’s video drivers to an earlier version that is told to have fixed the display corruption on wake issue as well. Take note though that Surface 2 did not receive any similar battery life changing firmware update, hence no improvement for the device. Don’t fret though, as Microsoft could release one soon enough.

Thank you AnandTech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of AnandTech

Microsoft Targeting The Sale Of 16 Million Windows 8.1 Tablets Over Christmas

Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite says that Microsoft are hoping to sell 16 million Windows 8.1 tablets over the holiday season this year.

To achieve this ambitious goal Microsoft believes it needs to reinvent how people perceive Windows devices, presumably through advertising and marketing. Microsoft’s steps for this year’s holiday season are to: “Sell 16 million Windows tablets, make touch mainstream, and improve the Windows retail experience.” Microsoft desperately needs to do this because Android and iOS are eating into its once dominant share of the global computing market.

Yet to achieve its targets for this holiday season Microsoft still has many problems to deal with. Consumer confusion about the variety of available operating systems is one of those big problems – consumers don’t know if they need Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows RT or Windows 8.1 RT. The shopping experience is another and Microsoft thinks buying a Windows PC (desktop, notebook or tablet) is just too confusing and daunting for consumers. It wants to work with big retailers (such as BestBuy) to simplify the process.

Whether Microsoft’s ambitious holiday plan will work remains to be seen, check out more details on Microsoft’s plans here.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Argos Breaks Microsoft Surface 2 Embargo, Starts Selling Early

The Verge reports that the UK retailer Argos has been selling Microsoft’s Surface 2 to customers before the embargo date of October 22nd has passed. Apparently Argos were selling the Surface 2 as early as Friday October 18th, 4 days before the embargo, and the Verge was able to buy a Surface 2 from their nearest on Saturday October 19th.

Argos were only selling the Surface 2 (both 32 and 64GB models), not the Surface 2 Pro, Type Cover 2 or Touch Cover 2. Argos responded to the Verge story stating it was a mistake and that they had immediately withdrawn Surface 2 sales from their stores.

“We fully comply with embargos issued by our suppliers and have withdrawn the Microsoft Surface 2 from sale with immediate effect. We are working with Microsoft to investigate this error as a matter of urgency.”

The Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro, Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 should all be made available from October 22nd.

Image courtesy of The Verge

Microsoft Says Its Surface Brand Is Confusing Customers

To our average reader I’d expect the difference between the Surface Pro and the Surface RT is pretty obvious – one runs Windows 8 RT and the other runs full Windows 8, one has an Nvidia Tegra 3 ARM processor and the other an Intel Core i5 processor. The differences are obvious to the technically minded but to your average consumer the difference probably isn’t so obvious, as let’s face it, both tablets and operating systems do look similar.

Speaking with PC Pro Microsoft Australia marketing manager, Jack Cowett, believes that the difference between the Surface Pro and the Surface RT have not been fully recognised by consumers, and may have even confused them:

“We think that there was some confusion in the market last year on the difference between Surface RT and Surface Pro…We want to help make it easier for people, and these are two different products designed for two different people.”

Microsoft obviously knows it has caused confusion as they have a dedicated web page set up to help consumers decide which one is right for them. With the second generation Microsoft looks to get around the confusion by ditching the RT moniker and just going with Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. This way there is a clear indication that the Surface Pro 2 “is better” and aimed at the higher end user who does actually need the “professional” benefits of having a full Windows 8.1 tablet while the Surface 2 is aimed at a broader audience who can make do with ARM and lighter productivity.

Image courtesy of itechpost.com