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

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosofttabletswirelessNetworkinghardware systemsWLANs / Wi-Fi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?