Microsoft on Wednesday took the unusual step of pulling its most recent firmware update for the Surface Pro 2, acknowledging problems that users had attributed to the update. It will release an alternative update "after the holidays."

"To ensure the best experience for our customers during the holiday season, we have taken steps to remove the update for Surface Pro 2 that was previously published through Windows Update on December 10th, 2013," a note on Microsoft's support forums reads. "We are working to release an alternative update package after the holidays."

After the holidays?

Yep. One of the dirty little secrets at Microsoft is that the company is on a French schedule. But instead of taking the month of August off as many do in that country, much of the company is basically gone for most of December. Nothing gets done between now and the first week of January.

This is especially a problem for those who have already installed the faulty update, which was delivered as part of Microsoft's December Surface updates. (See Microsoft Surface Firmware Updates for December 2013 for the details.) That's because many of those users are experiencing dramatically lower-than-usual battery life since installing the update.

So while you wait for the Surface team to get back from the slopes of Blackcomb, Whistler, or whatever non-work locale they're visiting for the rest of the month, you're pretty much on your own. Not exactly good customer service, especially from a part of Microsoft that, frankly, can't really afford this kind of controversy right now.

And this episode is doubly troubling because the conventional wisdom is that you can not only trust Microsoft updates, but that you should install them immediately as they arrive. For the most part, this is the way to go, but when something like this happens, those who are impacted—and those who read about the problems—are right to start questioning authority again. I know I am.

Ah well. Think Snow, I guess.