Microsoft’s Surface devices are now receiving the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (Update: not yet)

Microsoft says it has patched a bug that may have prevented some of its most recent Surface devices from receiving the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. And as of July 1, our Surface devices in our review stable are saying that they can receive the May 2020 Update as a result.

That may be an anomaly, however. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports on July 10 that even though Microsoft says that Surfaces can receive the update, they haven’t been. The problem, we’re told, is that there still may be a separate compatibility problem in place that Microsoft will maintain until it’s sure it has a good update experience. Even with no other safeguards in place, it can still take 48 hours before the May 2020 Update is offered.

Still, in its list of issues associated with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Microsoft notes that it recently deployed patch KB4557957, which addresses the “Errors or unexpected restarts for some devices using Always On, Always Connected.” 

According to Microsoft’s documentation, that bug affected a range of devices, including some of Microsoft’s recently introduced Surface hardware. “Affected devices will have more than one Always On, Always Connected capable network adapter, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, and might receive errors or unexpected shutdown or restart,” Microsoft said previously. Microsoft has said it had applied a “compatibility hold” to Windows 10 devices with those affected drivers or firmware, preventing them from receiving the May 2020 Update.

windows 10 2004 on its way Surface Microsoft Mark Hachman / IDG

Here’s the Windows Update screen from our Surface Book 3 review unit.

Now, Microsoft is saying that KB4557957 has solved the problem. “The safeguard hold is estimated to be removed in the coming weeks,” Microsoft said in an update published on Tuesday, June 9, when this story was originally written. Tero Alhonen, a Finnish developer, highlighted the change on Twitter

Separately, Microsoft’s May 2020 issues page says that “today we are increasing the number of devices that will be offered the May Update.”

Not all of Microsoft’s recent Surface devices were originallyaffected by the compatibility hold, according to our own testing. Our Surface Pro 7 review unit, for instance, is running the May 2020 Update. On the other hand, other Surface devices we have that Microsoft did not call out specifically, including our Surface Book 3 review unit, were being blocked from receiving the update until today.

Microsoft’s list of issues with the May 2020 Update still leaves a number of bugs under investigation, including issues with older Nvidia GPU drivers, variable-refresh-rate bugs with Intel integrated GPUs, and stop errors when plugging or unplugging a Thunderbolt dock.

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