Despite a recent refresh of Surface hardware line with newer offerings, Microsoft is still looking to innovate with its older Surface devices by introducing a new firmware update that will throttle the battery recharge for docked PCs.
Announced today, Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4 devices will be imbued with a new Battery Limit option in the Settings menu that will "limit the level of charge for devices that remain connected to an external power supply for an extended duration.
The new Battery Limit feature of Surface devices from Surface Pro 3 forward addresses these situations by providing a UEFI setting that instructs the battery controller to limit total charge to a maximum 50%. Enabling the setting preserves the battery’s ability to take and hold a charge while it’s connected to external power for an extended period of time and is recommended for Surface devices integrated into solutions like kiosks, consoles, and other scenarios where they are constantly connected to an external power supply.
The purpose of Battery Limit appears to be an attempt to address the mobility of the Surface devices in a more enterprise and sales oriented enviornment.
While consumers may be drawn to the hardware of the Surface device line, Microsoft continues to center its Surface Pro hardware efforts around appealing to the enterprise and commercial customer. The new Battery Limit option will go a long way to extending the lifecycle and support period for Surface Pro customers using the devices in enviornements such as office spaces, resturants, hotels, banks, or warehouses.
For now, the firmware update is limted to the Surface Pro 3 and Pro 4, but should be coming to other Surface devices in the near future.