It appears that your brand-spanking-new Microsoft Surface may need more than the security patch The Reg told you about – you may also need a physical patch for its Touch Cover keyboard.
According to multiple posts on Microsoft's Surface Forum, the edge of Surface Touch keyboards can split open at the seam where the keyboard-cover magnetically attaches to the tablet unit, exposing wiring within.
As one Forum poster notes, "my touch cover, in the middle at the join to the screen is peeling. like the top layer has come loose and is ruffling up." Another writes, "Mine, too. Right in the middle on the seam it tore open, and pretty quickly too."
Another: "I had the same issue with the Surface touch cover I bought for my wife and exchanged the cover for a replacement at my Microsoft store (extremely simple and quick process). However, within 24 hours it was peeling back again at the same place." And so on.
The splitting keyboard is not the only problem being reported. One support forum thread is devoted to users who have experienced audio muting. "Glad I found this thread," one poster posts. "I've had the problem happen about 10 times and it's all on different occasions."
A Microsoft moderator jumped into that popular thread with advice. "Regarding the issue of having the sound mute randomly ... please get in touch with the Surface Technical Support to exchange the Touch/Type Cover," he wrote. "We're still investigating the issue, however it appears that the cover may be the issue."
On a minor, cosmetic note, a number of posters also report that the Microsoft logo on the Surface's cover is quickly wearing off, even if the device is handled respectfully. As one of many posters commented, "No big deal, but seems odd."
Of course, it's entirely possible that the problems with the Surface are limited to a botched bunch of early models, or are simply garden-variety "version 1.0" glitches and gotchas.
However, as The Guardian pointed out about the splitting keyboard, "the fact that users in the US and the UK have reported the problem suggests that it is not isolated to a single manufacturing batch." ®
Apple fan site MacDailyNews was predictably scathing in its commentary on The Guardian's article about the Surface Touch keyboard's problems. "Microsoft. We make garbage with a kickstand," they scathe. "Plus, we're run by a clown. You can be a clown, too, if you waste your hard-earned money on our half-assed, ill-considered crap." It's not only Apple-haters who can be trusted to reliably resort to overheated invective.