Trouble seems to hound the bad pairing of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 OS and Surface RT tablets that the tech giant had to pull out the OS's update for the device over reports of failure to start or the blue screen of death popping up on the display.
The Windows 8.1, officially released only last week, has been getting bad press because of glitches suffered by users. One such glitch is the failure of some Surface RT tablets to start properly. Another is the 8.1 update for Internet Explorer does not work well with Outlook and some Google service, prompting Microsoft to yank the update from its Web site.
On a worst case scenario, Computerworld reports that some owners of Surface RT tablets suffered the crippling effects of the blue screen of death.
Explaining the removal of the Windows RT 8.1 from the app store, Microsoft explained in a support forum, "Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1. As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows store.
The glitch caused the corruption of the boot configuration data and effectively bricked the tablet, resulting in the error message popping up on their screen: "Your PC needs to be repaired. The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information."
For the Internet Explorer 11 version of the Windows 8.1 update, during a Google search, results are mashed together on the left hand side of the screen. But Microsoft blames this glitch on Google's changes to its search and other sites.
Fortunately for Microsoft, the Surface RT is not a bestseller device, so there are lesser units that are damaged by the glitch in the OS update. And only Microsoft is still using the Windows RT OS, while other original equipment manufacturer had discarded it from the lineups.
The embarrassing technical glitch of the OS update comes at a time that Microsoft will begin to sell on Tuesday, Oct 22, the next-gen Surface 2 which replaces the unpopular Surface RT. The device, which Microsoft warned consumer to place their order or risk facing shortage, had a starting price of $449.
To solve the problem, Microsoft released on Monday a software patch for owners of Surface RT tablets whose devices become useless after they installed the new Windows RT 8.1 update.
Microsoft also said in a statement that the problem affected only a very small portion of Surface RT tablets who tried to install the update.
"Based on our investigation of a situation customers have encountered updating to Windows RT 8.1, we can confirm that as of now this is a Windows update issue affecting only less than 1 out of every 1,000 (or less than 0.1%) Surface RT customers who have installed Windows RT 8.1 have been impacted, improving their experience and ensuring their systems are fully operable as quickly as possible is our number priority," Microsoft said.
"We have made recovery media available for download along with actionable guidance for affected customers. We continue to work towards making the Windows RT 8.1 update available in the Windows Store again and apologise for an inconvenience. Further updates will be provided as they become available," the Microsoft statement said.