Microsoft Surface users have been reporting problems with their devices after installing the Windows 10 April Update.
The issues, as far as it is known now, are attached to two Surface models: The all-in-one desktop Surface Studio, which users report is suffering from repeated keyboard and mouse disconnects, and 2017 Surface Pro models, which are freezing after the update completes.
It's not uncommon for software updates to come with bugs that handicap certain hardware. What's surprising in this case is that Microsoft's own products—premium products, at that—are the ones suffering.
In the case of the Surface Studio, Microsoft said that it's aware of the bug and is working on a solution that will be part of a future Windows update.
The Surface Pro freezing issue is known to Microsoft as well, and the company has even said what's causing it: 2017 Surface Pros contain Intel SSD 600 hard drives, which the April Update isn't currently compatible with. TechRepublic covered the hard drive incompatibility issue, and steps to take if you're affected, in a previous article.
Are OSes getting buggier?
It's no secret that the past few updates for Windows and macOS—the two dominant platforms in traditional desktop computing—have released with more than just a few bugs. That's to be expected, especially for a company like Microsoft, which isn't usually the OEM for devices that run Windows—except in the case of Surface devices.
TechRepublic, way back in 2010, predicted that operating systems would only get buggier with time due to increased complexity. We may very well be seeing that play out.
But Apple's OS bugs and zero days generally aren't associated with hardware issues, since the company manufactures its own devices. Instead, macOS and iOS tend to suffer from other coding oversights, like exposed passwords or faulty unicode handling.
SEE: Mobile Computing Policy (Tech Pro Research)
Microsoft's own hardware suffering from bugs may be good for a chuckle, but it's possible that Microsoft simply has to grow as an OEM to eliminate compatibility issues in its own hardware.
Or it's possible that Microsoft won't ever be able to solve those issues. It has to build Windows to handle a greater variety of hardware than Apple, which can write updates safe in the knowledge that it only ever has to run on the company's own hardware. Microsoft won't ever have that luxury unless they split Windows into two different build categories with one strictly reserved for Microsoft hardware.
For now, users of Microsoft's own hardware, like the Surface series, will have to pay attention to the same bug reports and hotfix patch notes that the rest of us do—it still applies to them, as these April 2018 Update bugs clearly demonstrate.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- The Windows 10 April 2018 Update contains bugs causing Surface Studios to lose their connections with their mice and keyboards, and causing Surface Pros manufactured in 2017 to freeze after boot leaving only System Restore as a recovery option.
- Microsoft Surface users who haven't installed the April 2018 Update should wait to do so until they hear the issues are resolved.
- IT pro's guide to effective patch management (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Windows critical flaw: This security bug is under attack right now, says Microsoft (ZDNet)
- Microsoft releases quality improvement builds for Anniversary and Creators versions of Windows 10 (TechRepublic)
- Windows RDP flaw: 'Install Microsoft's patch, turn on your firewall (ZDNet)
- Don't miss Microsoft's latest security update: It patches two major Outlook bugs (TechRepublic)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.