microsoft new surface pen gizmodo

Microsoft sees the Surface Pen as a vital component of the Surface Pro and other devices. While many users may not need the pen, those who do appreciate its ability to be more than just a stylus. However, it seems the recent Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is causing some infamos Surface reliability problems to crop up.

A report from Computer World reveals some Windows 10 users say the latest update has hurt the Surface Pen. Specifically, the peripheral is being hit with problems pairing with a device. Normally issues with the pen are caused by a failing battery, but it seems this is beyond that common gripe.

Windows 10 can now not recognize the Surface Pen. Some users also report pinch to zoom is no longer working. Reddit and other outlets have been awash with complaints from users.

Microsoft has acknowledged the situation and has offered the following workarounds:

  • Type Troubleshooting in the search box, click Troubleshooting.
  • Under Hardware and Sound, choose Configure a device.
  • The Hardware Troubleshooter will open.
  • Click on Next to run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter.
  • Choose the one you want to fix and click on Next. The Hardware and Devices
    Troubleshooter will try to fix the problem with the pen.

Just to be clear, these are workarounds and not a direct fix for the issue. It is also worth noting the problem seems reserved to select users at the moment, although I suspect more user reports will emerge as the Fall Creators Update spreads.

Surface Reliability

The reliability of Microsoft’s hardware brand has been a hot topic recently. Last week, Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin claimed only one in 100,000 Surface devices would fail. As I wrote then, there were important caveats to consider. Firstly, Gavin was talking about the first two years of a products life. Secondly, he was talking about the Surface Book and Surface Studio.

However, recent statistics by Consumer Reports showed that Microsoft’s Surface devices become unreliable, especially after they pass two years old.

This point was solidified when it emerged the Surface Pro 4 is plagued by two major problems. These issues have not been resolved since the device was launched in 2015.