Microsoft and Qualcomm have announced the cellular carriers that will supply the network capabilities of their upcoming line of Windows 10 Always Connected PCs. These systems are set to use LTE wireless networks to ensure consistent connectivity, whether or not Wi-Fi is available.
China Telecom will supply LTE connectivity in China, Telecom Italia (TIM) will be responsible in Italy, EE has been picked for the U.K., and the U.S. will be accommodated by Sprint and Verizon, according to a report from On MSFT.
“With the commitment of leading mobile operators worldwide, the Always Connected PC will offer consumers one of the most comprehensive mobile computing experiences, with always-on connectivity of up-to Gigabit LTE speeds and ‘beyond all-day’ battery life packaged into innovative, thin, and light PC designs,” said Don McGuire, Qualcomm’s vice president of global product marketing, in a press release.
These partnerships are set to get underway in the first half of 2018, and will stretch until at least the end of this year. As well as providing network capabilities, some of the carriers will offer hardware to customers via their retail locations.
“The collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies has resulted in a new category for the PC – the Always Connected PC,” said Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows and devices, Matt Barlow. “With the support of our mobile operator partners, consumers now have the opportunity to enjoy superfast connectivity over LTE networks at an affordable price, anytime and anywhere.”
Windows 10 Always Connected PCs represent an intriguing new attempt to develop laptops that crib some of the advantages of a smartphone – primarily, the fact that they can be woken quickly and conveniently. Asus, HP, and Lenovo are some of the first manufacturers who are on board with the program.
In recent years, we’ve seen Microsoft attempt to modernize the Windows ecosystem by making apps available via the Windows Store. Combined with the touch interfaces supported by many laptops, this can make for an experience that’s equivalent to a smartphone or a tablet.
However, in some ways traditional laptops are still rather sluggish compared to these devices, and this new range of PCs aims to address that gulf. Rock-solid LTE support will certainly go a long way to ensuring their practicality.
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