Microsoft have released a major firmware for the Surface Pro 3 that enables device configurations options, boot options and improved firmware update process.

Responding to customer requests Microsoft in the Surface Pro 3 UEFI update (v3.11.760.0) Microsoft have enabled modifications of the boot process so the Surface can boot from USB drives and PEX without having use the volume down button at start up. Also enabled in this update is the ability to disable devices on the Surface, so you could disable the cameras or the MicroSD card dependent on your requirements, this is something aimed at enterprisers and education users.

The third change is the ability to manage the UEFI configuration remotely and Microsoft will release a tool for manage it the UEFI config. The final change is improvements to drive update experiences so drivers should have a smoother update process.

It’s good to see Microsoft continue to develop the Surface Pro 3 for education and enterprise markers.

Details from Technet:

Surface Pro 3:

Surface Pro UEFI update (v3.11.760.0) provides added flexibility to configure UEFI in Surface Pro 3 devices. As more of commercial customers are deploying Surface Pro 3 for their end users every day, they have asked for more flexibility to configure the UEFI in these devices. Here are some of the improvements that are now available:

I. Modifications to boot process: It is now possible to configure UEFI to allow the system to boot from alternate devices such as USB flash drives and PXE, without requiring Volume Down button to be pressed at boot time.

II.    Advanced device security capabilities: Many customers have asked for advanced device security capabilities. For example, education customers want the camera turned off so students can focus on their learning experience in class. To support such unique scenarios, customers can now selectively disable following hardware ports on the device.

– Side USB port
– Docking ports
– Front camera
– Rear camera
– On Board Audio
– MicroSD card
– Wi-Fi
– Bluetooth

Customers can also choose to disable Boot from Network (PXE) capability.

III. OS Configurable Settings: To help large enterprise customers support their provisioning scenarios, we have now added an interface to allow UEFI configuration settings to be managed remotely. In an upcoming update, we will be releasing a downloadable tool that commercial customers can use to configure UEFI settings on their devices.

IV. Surface Pro UEFI update (v3.11.760.0) improves customer experience while installing the firmware capsule updates.

– Improves performance of EFI applications such as 3rd party disk encryption software that   load before Windows.
– Improves the reliability of the ESC key functions in pre-OS environments, such as Bitlocker Recovery screen.
– Sometimes when the drivers would not load properly within Windows, the device would function well, but the driver would show a yellow mark in Device Manager. This would prevent the drivers from loading when trying to attach a cover or plug in a USB device. The update resolves this scenario.

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