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SurfacePro3As a part of its regular Patch Tuesday update cycle, Microsoft has issued updates for Windows 8.1, the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro and Surface RT alongside its usual complement of security patches.

Microsoft said last week that it will now be releasing regular updates to Windows 8.1 as a part of Patch Tuesday, rather than waiting to bundle all of them together in one large update. In a blog post, Microsoft called out three new features in particular that users would see as a part of this month’s update:

  • Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
  • Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

In addition to the new features, the update also includes 9 security patches addressing two critical vulnerabilities and seven important vulnerabilities.

Surface Pro 3 users get improvements to hardware compatibility with this month’s update. Microsoft’s bulletin calls out improvements to how the device handles the Surface Power Cover and Surface Ethernet Adaptor. In addition, the LifeCam Front front-facing camera got an update that will decrease power consumption during Skype, add support for Flash and improve stability.

The original Surface Pro got an update that improves the performance of its wireless card, and the Surface RT’s patch “improves overall system stability.” Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 users were left out in the cold this time around. Surface users who are eligible for updates should get prompted to install them soon, though Microsoft said not everyone will be asked to update today.

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