If you have a Dell Venue 8 Pro, time to update. BIOS A08 is a three version jump from the previous A05, and it’s a lot more minor too. All it references is updating the power charging modes for USB charging. I suspect it may have to do with the release of the +port Kickstarter device that I backed previously, but I’m not sure.
The +port is a nifty device that splits the USB and the charging paths, so you can keep using USB devices with your Intel Atom “Bay Trail” tablet, many of which offer only one micro-USB port for both charging and OTG adapter use, preventing you from both charging and using USB accessories simultaneously. The +port fixes that.
Also released was an OEM driver CAB – I thought at first it updated the Intel chipset drivers, but there were no changes there I could get Device Manager to pick up. The Broadcomm Wi-Fi driver was identical in version number, but had a newer build date. Probably not worth the 140+ MB download to bump up the build date of what is probably the same exact driver. That said, go update your BIOS.
The only disappointment with BIOS A08 is that it still doesn’t unlock 64-bit UEFI, something Dell said they would offer this year on Venue 8 Pro. Now that Windows 8.1 supports InstaGo on 64-bit, there’s no need for the 32-bit UEFI firmware restrictions anymore. It would be nice to see Dell honor that commitment and roll out 64-bit firmware to all Venue 8 Pro units. At Console OS, right now, we’ve resorted to resuming 32-bit (kernel and firmware) engineering builds to keep working on Bay Trail tablets.
Good catch, and I usually see these releases myself but I have been patiently waiting for a replacement screen protector for my boxed Venue 8 Pro. Something noteworthy is the imminent planned 64-bit Bay Trail summer refresh of the Venue 11 Pro, and likewise 8 Pro ( http://tabtec.com/windows/dell-roadmap-all-tablets-convertibles/ ). It’s soon to happen, all with the recent Woot fire sale of the Venue 11 Pro and Microsoft Store quietly pulling all their stock of the Bay Trail and Core models going on.
It’s starting to concern the team that most Bay Trail OEMs will merely put out new (or even identical with a different SKU’ed) hardware and not go back and issue UEFI 64-bit firmware updates for older devices.
Planned obsolescence hurts the whole sector. We’re looking at UEFI right now and seeing if we can chainload 64-bit kernels in. This previously has been done in CSM to load Mac OS X on older EFI 32-bit hardware, but even then the CSM was 64-bit aware. We’re not optimistic on that one, honestly…
To be clear, aside from these handful of Bay Trail-T devices, Console OS will be 64-bit clean, even on most Bay Trail devices.
On my end, we’ll support 32-bit UEFI tablets as best we can. Today it’s not hard to maintain two kernels. But as Android moves to 64-bit, this is going to be an increasing problem for devices that otherwise would have no problem handling Android’s 64-bit.
I was just wondering if you have heard any other rumblings about the Dell Venue 8 Pro getting a 64-bit UEFI firmware?
I know you’re busy with Console OS (I’m a proud backer!) at the moment but I just found this website that explains why the initial BayTrail tablets came with 32-bit only. Windows Connected Standby was on supported in 32-bit Windows 8, but apparently it’s fully functional in Windows 8.1 64-bit so maybe Dell will finally fix it…?
Thanks, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Console OS DR1!
Thanks for this post, it is great to see exactly what and why regarding the 32-64 bit situation. I have to admit, I didn’t fully understand the details of it until now.
I have been trying to get Dell to answer me about the 64bit BIOS update for my Venue 11 Pro via their twitter support account, but they told me they aren’t given that information. Keeping my fingers crossed and looking forward to Developer Preview 2!