Menu
Microsoft Surface users complain of Wi-Fi problems

Microsoft Surface users complain of Wi-Fi problems

Users of Microsoft's Surface tablet are complaining about Wi-Fi connection dropping, poor signal strength and limited connectivity

Some users of Microsoft's new Surface tablet are complaining about connectivity issues that are preventing them from getting on the Internet, according to posts on Microsoft's Surface support forum.

Microsoft started shipping the tablet on Oct. 25 and the first complaints appeared two days later. The thread is now 16 pages long, with users saying Wi-Fi issues are causing disruptions to movie streams, file downloads and Web applications.

"My connection to the wifi network frequently and repeatedly goes 'limited'. If I reset the connection by turning on and off airplane mode it works again, but only for a short amount of time ... before I have to repeat the process again," wrote one user who goes by the name kjkeys88.

Another poster, EricLinneman, who said he is a senior consultant at Microsoft, also said his wireless connection was showing as "limited." Rebooting his tablet only temporary resolved the problem.

Some users thought the problem could be with their wireless router instead of the tablet, but EricLinneman wrote that the connectivity problems appeared to be consistent across different router brands. Other users said the problem was happening with their Surface tablet only, not their other wireless devices.

"I have the same issue. My iPad works just fine on the same network. And my wireless Xbox also works just fine. Only my new Surface has issue," wrote poster Brian Peal.

A forum moderator and Surface support engineer at Microsoft, Steven_B, wrote on Nov. 5 that Microsoft was investigating the issue.

"We're sorry to hear about the WiFi going into Limited connectivity and having poor signal strength. We are aware of the issue and are currently investigating the cause," wrote Steven_B on the board.

Microsoft declined to immediately comment on the issue Wednesday.

The problem is likely to be a software issue caused by buggy code or a driver conflict, according to Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal at ZK Research.

Limited connectivity was a problem with older Windows laptops, resulting from conflicting Wi-Fi drivers, Kerravala said. For example, a default Wi-Fi driver in Windows could conflict with the driver provided by a PC maker.

Microsoft now has to patch the Windows RT OS on the Surface tablet, Kerravala said.

"That's what Microsoft does, patch things," Kerravala said. "I'm sure they will."

He didn't think the issue would affect sales of the tablet.

Microsoft recently issued software updates for Windows RT and a firmware update for the Surface tablet. Microsoft said the update provides performance improvements, and did not mention any big fixes that it might address.

Users of Apple's iPad have also complained of Wi-Fi connectivity issues in the past, but they did not appear to affect sales of the device.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NetworkingMicrosoftwirelesshardware systemstabletsWLANs / Wi-Fi

Upcoming

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)

Nutanix recently held its customer and channel event, .NEXT, in Sydney. The event, held at the Sheraton on the Park saw attendance from more than 150 channel and technology partners and customers. It was the first in a series of events Nutanix is holding in A/NZ in August and September, the objective of which is to brief partners and customers on “what’s next” in the design and management of datacentre technology.

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)
IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)

Some of the sponsors of ARN's inaugural EDGE 2015 event got together at the ARN office for a debrieef of the event. Over some drinks and cheese, these attendees got an update on some key statistics that arose from the EDGE event and discussed potential topics and improvements that can be made at next year's event.

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)
IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

ARN hosted a distributor roundtable at Cafe Del Mar in Sydney, at which attendees and their partners discussed the changing role of the traditional IT distributor. They spoke about the challenges of digital disruption, the blurring lines of the channel in the age of digital transformation, and examined the ever-evolving business models. This roundtable was sponsored by Distribution Central, Exclusive Networks, Rhipe, and Hemisphere Technologies. Photos by ARN Editorial Director, Mike Gee.

IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments