What you need to know
- Microsoft has extended the amount of time it promises to support new Surface PCs with firmware updates.
- Originally, Surface PCs only received four years of firmware updates.
- Now, Surface PCs shipped after January 1, 2021 will receive firmware updates for six years.
Microsoft has quietly updated its Surface support documentation with new information about how the company plans to support its Surface PCs with firmware updates. Originally, Microsoft had only committed to supporting Surface PCs with firmware updates for four years, but that now appears to be changing.
The updated documentation states that any Surface PC shipped after January 1, 2021 will receive six years of firmware updates. Surface devices shipped before that date will remain on four years of firmware updates. This means Surface Pro 7+, Surface Go 3, Surface Laptop 4, Surface Laptop Go 2, Surface Studio 2+, Surface Laptop Studio 1 and newer have all had their support cycles extended by two additional years.
Here’s what the documentation says:
- For devices released before January 1, 2021: Surface devices will receive driver and firmware updates for at least four years from when the device was first released. In cases where the support duration is longer than four years, an updated end-of-servicing date will be published before the date of the last servicing.
- For devices released on and after January 1, 2021: Surface devices will receive driver and firmware updates for at least six years from when the device was first released. In cases where the support duration is longer than six years, an updated end-of-servicing date will be published before the date of the last servicing.
Firmware updates for Surface PCs are designed to make the device work better with Windows. These updates can consist of battery life and performance improvements, and sometimes even add or enable new features in Windows. So, the longer your Surface PC is supported with firmware updates, the better.
With that said, these are not the same as OS updates. While firmware updates can aid in the transition to a new version of Windows, they are not always required. So even on a Surface PC that no longer receives firmware updates, you may still be able to install the latest version of Windows.
Microsoft does say it reserves the right to extend the firmware support cycle for any device where necessary, an example of this is with the Surface Studio 2 which shipped in 2018 but will be supported until 2024. Generally, most Surface PCs shipped before 2021 will stop receiving firmware updates by the end of next year.
Surface support cycles
|Surface device||Release date||End of firmware support|
|Surface Pro 5||June 15, 2017||January 15, 2024|
|Surface Pro 5 LTE||December 1, 2017||January 15, 2024|
|Surface Studio 2||December 2, 2018||January 25, 2024|
|Surface Laptop 3||October 22, 2019||July 30, 2024|
|Surface Pro 7||October 22, 2019||February 28, 2024|
|Surface Pro X SQ1||November 5, 2019||August 10, 2025|
|Surface Go 2||May 6, 2020||December 30, 2024|
|Surface Book 3||May 26, 2020||April 1, 2025|
|Surface Pro X SQ2||October 13, 2020||October 13, 2024|
|Surface Laptop Go||October 13, 2020||October 13, 2024|
|Surface Pro 7+||January 15, 2021||January 15, 2027|
|Surface Laptop 4||April 15, 2021||April 15, 2027|
|Surface Pro 8||October 5, 2021||October 5, 2027|
|Surface Laptop Studio||October 5, 2021||October 5, 2027|
|Surface Go 3||October 5, 2021||October 5, 2027|
|Surface Pro X (Wi-Fi only)||October 5, 2021||October 5, 2027|
|Surface Laptop SE||January 11, 2022||January 11, 2028|
|Surface Laptop Go 2||June 7, 2022||June 7, 2028|
|Windows Dev Kit 2023||October 24, 2022||October 24, 2028|
|Surface Laptop 5||October 25, 2022||October 25, 2028|
|Surface Pro 9||Ocotober 25, 2022||October 25, 2028|
|Surface Studio 2+||October 25, 2022||October 25, 2028|
|Surface Go 4||September 21, 2023||September 21, 2029|
|Surface Laptop Go 3||October 3, 2023||October 3, 2029|
|Surface Laptop Studio 2||October 3, 2023||October 3, 2029|
A good sign or bad sign?
It’s good to see Microsoft committing to longer support timeframes for its Surface portfolio. The optimist in me sees this as Microsoft doubling down on its hardware business, which is exactly what we want to see.
On the flipside, the pessimist in me thinks this change is happening because the company is planning to reduce how often it releases updated hardware. One of the reasons why the Surface Studio 2 had its support cycle extended to 5 years was because Microsoft took so long to ship a successor.
Of course, we won’t know for sure what this means until we see what Surface’s new leadership team is able to bring to the table now that ex-CVP Panos Panay is out the door. Notably, Surface Pro and Surface Laptop didn’t receive a refresh this year, marking the first time in a while that Microsoft hasn’t updated those lines on an annual basis.