Skip to main content

Windows 10 eSIM support lets laptop owners stay connected via their mobile plans

hp envy x2 review angle
Matt Smith/Digital Trends
Moving beyond Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, Microsoft wants to see future builds of Windows 10 keep more Windows PCs online no matter where they go. A new initiative for Windows 10 “eSIM” support could see users use their mobile data plan in order to get their laptop online without the need to create a Wi-Fi hotspot or use any form of in-store activation.

This initiative should come as no surprise considering the recent announcement of Qualcomm-powered laptops with LTE support. These notebooks are more connected, rather than more powerful, sporting long battery life and cellular connectivity, making them part of a new range of “Always Connected” PCs. Microsoft’s proposed Windows 10 tweaks would make that even more viable.

As it stands notebooks with physical SIM cards with in-store activation can provide similar functionality, but they are specialist devices rather than the norm. With Microsoft’s planned changes, laptops would be able to leverage an embedded SIM (EUIIC or eSIM) with a profile downloaded from the cloud allowing for remote activation.

Microsoft

Details of this new feature were revealed at the WinHEC Fall 2017 Workshop which took place at the end of last month and ZDNet has a few slides from that show. They showcase the changes that the “next release of Windows 10” will have, making it possible to bring these notebooks online without the traditional physical sim card installation.

Prime Day Focus
These Razer Blade Prime Day deals really pack a punch [in gaming power]
Anker SOLIX Prime Day deals: This shopping guide highlights the best discounts
Send it! This HoverAir X1 Drone can capture your adventures and it's $120 off
Secretlab Prime Day deals: Build your ideal work-from-home or gaming station

Full support of the feature may require cooperation from specific mobile carriers, so may be somewhat dependent on available packages in users’ geographic regions but if the feature becomes popular, there shouldn’t be much cause for not making it viable for all.

It’s possible this feature gains more traction in enterprise settings first, where the increased security of a cellular data connection is an attractive alternative to Wi-Fi, especially when there are comparable speeds. A lower power-usage than Wi-Fi is also an attractive side of it though, which may be what Microsoft uses to market it to consumers, as well as the fact that it allows laptops to remain “Always Connected,” without quite so many steps as existing solutions.

The “Redstone 4” build of Windows 10 where this feature is expected to appear, is slated to debut in April, so it will come a little after the launch of some of the Qualcomm-powered compatible notebooks. Although some of those notebooks will ship out without the hardware capabilities for eSIM support at launch, others may, with the Windows OS adding the software compatibility for them a little later. Windows Insiders, however, will likely gain access to the feature a little sooner.

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
As end of support nears, Windows 7 users are finally moving to Windows 10
Windows 7 retirement

New statistics from the much-trusted web metrics vendor Net Applications show that Windows 7 users could finally be moving away from the aging operating system in favor of Windows 10. According to the data, Windows 7's market share of the personal computer market fell roughly 3.6% in July, which is one of the largest drops in the history of the operating system.

As Microsoft continues to push users away from Windows 7, this drop in market share is very significant. In months prior, Windows 7 still held on to its fair share of the market compared to Windows 10. In June 2019, Windows 7 netted a 35.38% share, while Windows 10 was at 45.7%. A month later, Windows 7 netted a 31.83% share compared Windows 10's 48.86%. This marks only the second significant drop in Windows 7 share of the personal computer market on a per-month basis, according to ComputerWorld.

Read more
This Lenovo ThinkPad is usually $2,289 — it’s $629 for Prime Day
The third-generation Lenovo ThinkPad T14 laptop on a white background.

The true back-to-school shopping season is going to start soon, but that doesn’t mean working professionals shouldn’t be able to score great laptop deals on laptops too! Fortunately, one brand that always seems to have excellent promotions is Lenovo, and the company is putting its best foot forward with this amazing Prime Day deal on a ThinkPad. For a limited time, you’ll be able to take home the Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 for just $630. At full price, this laptop usually costs $2,290, which is a whopping 72% off. Put that toward one or two other fantastic Prime Day deals, why don’t ya?

 
Why you should buy the Lenovo ThinkPad T14
For years, the Lenovo ThinkPad has been a tried and true workplace laptop, and the T14 is one of the best iterations of the portable PC. Equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 6650U, integrated AMD Radeon 660M graphics, and 16GB of RAM, the T14 is built to deliver fast and reliable performance when you need it most. Whether you’re balancing spreadsheets between several programs or have a ton of browser tabs open with media playing in several, the T14 has got you covered!

Read more
This small change coming to the M5 MacBook Pro could mean much more
Apple MacBook Pro 16 downward view showing keyboard and speaker.

The M5 MacBook Pro isn't due out until 2025, but we're already hearing more about what new features might be coming to it. According to the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will be using a new supplier for its camera starting in 2025.

As reported on by MacRumors, Kuo states in a Medium post that the Chinese manufacturer Sunny Optical will be taking the place of both LG Innotek and Sharp, the current suppliers used for MacBook Pro webcams.

Read more