Microsoft will soon allow users to activate a mobile data plan on their computers. Users will be able to purchase mobile data from the Microsoft Store when always-connected laptops go on sale.
The update will only work with laptops with built-in eSIMs
Redstone 4 is scheduled for release this Spring it will bring the update described above. Users will be able to choose a data plan from major US wireless carriers from the Store.
The new data plan interface will only be compatible with laptops that come with built-in eSIMs. These allow carriers to identify it without users having to install a physical SIM. There are not so many laptops that are currently equipped with eSIMs, and they include the Surface Pro and the Asus Nova Go which is scheduled for release shortly.
The Asus NovaGo has a smartphone-class CPU, and the LTE modem included allows the device to stay connected to the web even when it’s asleep, having minimum impact on battery life.
Microsoft is teaming up with various carriers
PCMag reports that Microsoft is negotiating with a few carriers to offer their plans via the Microsoft Store, but at the moment we don’t know which these are. Pricing details are also not available yet.
The Store currently has a limited number of pay-as-you-go data offerings from reseller Transatel.
64-bit ARM apps are on their way
The ability to select a data plan might make laptops such as the Asus NovaGo mentioned above more exciting for on the go users, but there’s also a downside involved. Their ARM-based Qualcomm CPUs, unfortunately, trigger slower computing performance, and this is quite understandable considering that these were originally created to power smartphones and not laptops.
The good news is that this is set to change with a future SDK targeted at developers which would allow them to translate their 64-bit Windows apps into software that runs natively on CPUs based on ARM. This will, of course, result in faster and more reliable performance.
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