MICROSOFT HAS used its automatic update service to bork Microsoft Surface Pro 3 devices and show the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).
The January update, which is automatically installed in the background by default (because Microsoft), accidentally installed a driver meant for the Surface Pro 4 onto the previous-generation Microsoft tablet. The driver that caused the meltdown offered long-awaited support for the Surface Pen.
Unfortunately, however, the Surface Pro 4 version of the driver when installed on the Surface Pro 3 led to random crashes, and that taunting smiley emoticon that makes everything better (it doesn't).
The Microsoft forums have seen a barrage of complaints of BSOD, random crashes and booting into a blank screen. Reddit too was awash with rants, one user writing: "Surface app refuses to save settings, and pen pressure settings no longer have any effect. After closing the app, it refuses to start again.
"Start menu then refuses to pop up. Windows button does not work. Pen input becomes spotty. This firmware update is literally the worst thing I've ever downloaded from Windows Update."
In fact, the worst thing they've ever downloaded is specifically the pen driver, which was either inadvertently added or deliberately sideloaded by users, according to one Microsoft engineer.
Worse still, if you have the errant driver on your system, your only option is to do a system restore to before the problem occurred and start again. They're working on something better, but in the meantime that's the advice.
Some users report that uninstalling the pen driver and rebooting works, as the original driver will be reinstalled when you reboot. But for others, their Surface Pro 3 is stuck in limbo.
Some have used this as an argument against the automatic, silent updates that came with Windows 10, but most people just accept it all anyway and probably wouldn't notice. The blame for this one lies with Microsoft unless you sideloaded the driver, in which case you have only yourself to blame.
The update for the Surface Pro 4 is yet to become available but is expected soon.
If you don't fancy fiddling about in Device Manager, of course, you could always do what this gentleman did and just drill a hole in your tablet. µ
Oh and it'll also help give aural pleasure
But it might still not be enough to make virtual reality super appealing
And a ridiculous competition
Now you can talk to your silly-looking earbuds too