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Surface Pro 3 gets major system firmware updates

Outside of the normal schedule, Microsoft is releasing a new firmware update for its Surface Pro 3 tablet today. However, today’s release isn’t just a regular update, it’s a significant firmware update aimed at corporate customers.

The release is labeled “System Firmware Update – 03/26/2015” and Microsoft claims the following improvements:

Surface Pro UEFI (v3.11.760.0) adds support for corporate disk encryption, improves advanced settings for device security, and adds configurable operating system support for provisioning scenarios.

However, the Surface Pro 3’s update history mentions only half of the changes; according to the Surface for IT Pros blog, the pro version of the tablet also receives the following improvements:

Modifications to the boot process: It is now possible to configure UEFI to allow the system to boot from alternative devices, such as USB and PXE flash drives, without the need to press the volume down button at boot time.

Advanced device security features: Many customers have requested advanced device security features. To support these unique scenarios, customers can now selectively disable the following hardware ports on the device: side USB port, docking ports, front camera, rear camera, integrated audio, microSD card, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Customers can also choose to disable the network boot (PXE) feature.

Configurable operating system settings: To help large enterprise customers support their provisioning scenarios, Microsoft has added an interface to allow UEFI settings to be managed remotely. In an upcoming update, we will release a downloadable tool that business customers can use to configure UEFI settings on their devices.

The Surface Pro UEFI update (v3.11.760.0) improves the customer experience by installing firmware pod updates.

Improves the performance of EFI applications, such as third-party disk encryption software that loads before Windows.

Improves the reliability of ESC key functions in pre-OS environments, such as the Bitlocker recovery screen.

Finally, the update resolves the scenario where sometimes the drivers are not loaded correctly in the operating system, the device works fine, but the driver shows a yellow mark in Device Manager. This would prevent drivers from loading when trying to plug in a cover or plug in a USB device.

The March firmware update for Surface Pro 3 will download and install automatically, but you can always access Windows Update to install the update manually.

Microsoft Source (link 1), (Link 2)

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