Windows RT users were hit by application-updating problems earlier this month after attempting to install the latest set of Patch Tuesday fixes from Microsoft. Particularly, people reported being unable to access the Windows Store or Windows Update, or even updating applications from their own built-in update mechanisms.

It was unclear if the issue related to Windows RT, or the Surface tablet specifically given the latter represents the majority of such devices in users’ hands right now. But today a Microsoft spokesperson clarified the flaw affected all ARM-based Windows RT devices and promised a fix by early February. 

Here’s the official statement:

Some Windows RT customers who attempted to apply January’s bulletins had issues installing updates. Specifically, impacted Windows RT devices went into connected standby mode during the download of updates from Windows Update, causing the connection to be disrupted. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and are working to correct the issue; we expect to have a fix in place in the first week of February.

Microsoft hasn't detailed the extent of the issue or what caused it in the first place.

The Surface for Windows RT was off to a slow start after several months of hype. According to unofficial sales estimates, Microsoft only sold about one million units during the fourth quarter of 2012 -- about a million short of initial forecasts. The software giant has yet to weigh in with its own official numbers but they certainly have high hopes for the device with plans to start selling it in 13 additional countries next month.

Microsoft is also set to launch the full-fledged Windows 8 variant, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, on February 9. Unlike its RT sibling, the latter will support existing desktop applications in addition to the new Windows 8-style ones, but it’s also considerably more expensive with a starting price of $899 without keyboard.