Microsoft Sparks Surface Book 2 Buzz on Instagram

An image posted by the official Microsoft Surface account on Instagram seemed to hint at a redesigned Surface Book, but an eagle-eyed Windows developer poured cold water on the rumor.

Surface Book

Microsoft surprised the industry during its hardware event in New York City last year when it took the wraps off the Surface Book, the company's first laptop. Featuring a unique hinge design, a detachable screen and optional discrete graphics on some models, the Surface Book (pictured) is Microsoft's take on what a premium Windows two-in-one hybrid should be.

Could Microsoft already be working on a redesign?

On Sunday, the official Microsoft Surface account on Instagram posted a cryptic, close-up image of a Surface device. The photo was accompanied with the following text: "Your key to success. #Microsoft #Surface #DoGreatThings"

The image appeared to show a black keyboard (the current Surface Book has a silver keyboard) and a redesigned hinge. Expecting another hardware event from Microsoft in the coming months along with a refresh of the company's devices, industry watchers took it as a sign that new Surface Book was on its way.

On Twitter, Rudy Huyn, a Windows developer, debunked the rapidly spreading claims that Microsoft had let slip an early look at the Surface Book 2. In an Aug. 29 tweet, Huyn showed how the Instagram photo was just a cropped and darkened image of the original Surface Book as it appeared in an early promotional image.

Meanwhile, Microsoft this week released a firmware upgrade that resolves the battery-draining issue plaguing the Surface Pro 3.

Earlier this year, Microsoft's support forums erupted with complaints about the Surface Pro 3's rapidly degrading battery performance. Many users chimed in to report that their devices could barely last an hour or two, sometimes less, without plugging the tablet into a wall outlet. On its online store, Microsoft claims that Surface Pro 3 users can get up to nine hours of web browsing between charges.

On Aug. 29, Microsoft finally released a firmware update that addresses the battery drain.

In an online support document, the company explained that on some Surface Pro 3s, "an error condition occurs that causes the full charge capacity of the battery to be misreported to the operating system and device firmware. When this condition occurs, the system no longer charges the battery to its full actual capacity, and the Surface is unable to function on battery power."

The firmware update corrects the component that acts as the battery's "fuel gauge," Microsoft said. Once applied, the update will self-correct this gauge over subsequent charging cycles, finally allowing the battery to provide a full charge.

Users can check for the update by going into Window 10's settings (Update & security > Windows Update). The updated firmware will be labeled System Firmware Update - 8/29/2016. Before updating the firmware, Microsoft cautions that users should use the AC power adapter bundled with the device (not the optional dock), remove any USB peripherals and ensure that the battery icon shows a charge of at least 40 percent.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...