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Microsoft Announces First Mobile Carriers To Support Always Connected PCs (zdnet.com) 108

An anonymous reader shares a report: The push behind the Always Connected PC vision has been ramping up in recent weeks, with manufacturers like HP, ASUS, and Lenovo all joining the fray with their own LTE PCs based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform. Now, Microsoft and Qualcomm have announced the first batch of mobile operators that will actively support Always Connected PCs around the world. These initial carriers will help to bring "easy and affordable connectivity plans to consumers on advanced LTE wireless networks," Microsoft and Qualcomm said in a press release. Throughout the first half of 2018 and beyond, the companies say, mobile operators in China, Italy, the UK, and the U.S. will officially support Always Connected PCs. Here's a look at the carriers you can expect to roll out support in each region: China -- China Telecom, Italy -- TIM (Telecom Italia), U.K. -- EE, U.S. -- Sprint, Verizon. In addition to supporting connected PCs on their LTE networks, you can expect each operator to stock Always Connected PCs in their retail store, Qualcomm and Microsoft say.

Microsoft Announces First Mobile Carriers To Support Always Connected PCs

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @02:33PM (#55903069)

    Just wait for those Win10 updates!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      and all that telemetry!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @02:47PM (#55903205)

        and all that telemetry!

        This ... Microsoft has more to gain from this always connected than consumers do.

        I mean, all of that location data to use to sell ads. If you don't think the end-game of this is for MS to start putting ads and behavior tracking into Windows you're delusional.

        MS is pretty much ramping up to monetize your world, and ensure there is infrastructure to do so.

        Fuck that, not interested in having a cell bill associated with my PC. I'll connect to the internet where and how I wish -- and it won't include a cell company.

        We seem to be hurtling towards all of the worst parts of the dystopian future -- the version in which corporations control everything, know everything you do, and make money off it.

        It won't be long before governments do the bidding of the megacorps .. at least, more openly than they do now.

        No way, no how is this good. This is just more gouging of the consumer.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          We seem to be hurtling towards all of the worst parts of the dystopian future -- the version in which corporations control everything, know everything you do, and make money off it.

          Cheer up! At least we still get to die. They haven't figured out a way to put our brains into jars, hook them up into networks, and torment us for all eternity.

          At least, I think they haven't....

        • "...MS to start putting ads and behavior tracking into Windows..." Did you somehow miss Windows 10 completely?
    • Just wait for those Win10 updates!

      Which don't download over cellular by default in Windows 10...

  • Always owned PCs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's easier for Microsoft's command and control servers to "manage" your computer if they never get disconnected. I wonder what Microsoft will do when they receive a subpoena to "manage" a computer system.

  • Microsoft says... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @02:50PM (#55903233) Homepage

    ..."Windows is a service." I seen that blerb on some support document on Microsoft's website recently. We speculated they'd try to move the OS into a subscription model. Just more gearing up for that move.

    I don't mind my PC being always connected. It pretty much already is. Where I'm going to get really upset is when my PC stops working properly when my internet is down for whatever reason.

    However, my concern regarding Windows becoming more walled garden like is not really there. Steam, SteamOS and Steam for Linux is making leaps and bounds to bring what I use my PC for primarily into modern times: Gaming. I just hope by the time Windows becomes truly unbearable to use, Steam for Linux is better and more stable. It's not bad now.

    Microsoft's play here feels like folly. They're like the last company selling operating systems. Everyone else just sells hardware and gives the OS away with the machine, either it be Apple's offerings, or your average Android smartphone. I'm not sure what they're planning exactly, but.. competing with free is never an easy game to play.

    • Re:Microsoft says... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @03:58PM (#55903715) Homepage

      I don't mind my PC being always connected. It pretty much already is. Where I'm going to get really upset is when my PC stops working properly when my internet is down for whatever reason.

      Yeah, my first thought was "Microsoft probably wants your machine to be connected all the time so that they can push more ads and collect more telemetry." My second thought was, "Will they introduce some new 'feature' that makes it so these machines won't work when the Internet is unavailable?""

      Given Microsoft's track record, neither would surprise me in the least.

      They're like the last company selling operating systems. Everyone else just sells hardware and gives the OS away with the machine, either it be Apple's offerings, or your average Android smartphone.

      I've had a general theory that Microsoft is planning to make a basic version of Windows free, and maybe even open source. Maybe not a "plan" exactly, but maybe they're entertaining the idea, and even preparing for the possibility in case they want to do it. They've been the embracing open source model more and more, and meanwhile seem to be pulling features from Windows Pro and making them Enterprise-only. I'd suspect Windows desktop licensing is a shrinking part of their revenue, and they've killed off any money coming in from Windows upgrades. The OS you use is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

      I could see them making Windows Pro essentially free as a way to promote their other platforms. Meanwhile, they can collect subscription fees for Windows Enterprise, and still sell Windows Server.

    • Yeah just imagine what your wireless bill would look like if it booted over TFTP and had no local storage to speak of. That'll be the next thing.
  • I'm sure it'll be like a gold-rush for the wireless companies, all that data they get to charge people for. I'm also sure someone is going to just love all that audio and video they'll have access to, when the gods-be-damned thing is on all the time in your home recording everything you do and say.

    I told you people, YEARS ago, that this shit was going to happen, but did anyone listen? Hell, no. I get lumped together with the tinfoil-hat paranoids, told "it'll never happen", but yet here we are: you're al
    • I'm going to turn on your coffee maker, lights, oven and turn off the power to your fridge I hope that was okay. Also That live footage of you from your own security cam throwing up after drinking that spoiled milk got 5 stars!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @03:31PM (#55903523)

      I told you people, YEARS ago, that this shit was going to happen, but did anyone listen? Hell, no. I get lumped together with the tinfoil-hat paranoids

      Allow me to let you in on a little secret: The goal posts for tinfoil-hat paranoid have moved so far it is hard to believe.

      Many years ago talking about echelon got you labelled as a bit of a crank.

      The reality is, we know that wide scale surveillance is real. We have learned that, yes, someone is probably trying to hack you at all times. We've learned that a huge amount of email is phishing and spam, and it gets harder and harder to identify. We see time and time again that with fake caller ID most of our incoming calls are fraudulent scams.

      To survive in the modern connected world, your default level of suspicion has to be at the tinfoil-hat level. The level of distrust you need in your day to day life would have been a clinical disorder not even 10 years ago. We have to teach our parents and grandparents to have a level of distrust many of them can't even grasp. And ad companies with their web tracking analytics do try to monitor everything you do, and can and will hand that information over to governments -- often in secret due to shit like the PATRIOT Act.

      Having been one of the tinfoil-hat crowd for the last 15 years or so ... I can't say I feel vindicated to be proven right. Because we now live in a shit hole of a world like I've been saying we would for a very long time. There is no satisfaction in that.

      So, fuck it, I'm not one of the cool kids. I no longer buy this shit, I actively block everything I can, and I'm no longer willing to participate in most of this on-line shit, and block companies like Facebook at my firewall. I try to tell my friends why they need to take this seriously.

      The problem is those of us who sounded tinfoil-hat crazy a decade ago just have had to move the paranoia to its logical conclusion ... which means we probably sound like raving loons.

      But I can't trust 99% of the incoming calls to my house. I can't trust a significant amount of emails which my ISP allows through. I can't trust my devices not to spy on me. I can't trust webpages not to spy on me.

      At the end of the day, you either sound crazy, but are 100% right ... or you drink the kool-aid and decide you don't care. And I can't do the latter.

      So join the club. Many of us have been saying this for years, and we've all been dismissed with "that is so crazy it will never happen". And here we are -- living in a world in which the level of distrust you must exhibit to not get constantly get scammed would have been a clinical disorder as late as the mid 90's.

      The problem for some of us is that we never crazy, but the world around us sure as fuck is. Great, I was always right, and the world is a seething shit hole where every government and corporate entity wants to spy on you -- I feel so much fucking better now.

      • by jonfr ( 888673 )

        The problem is that you tin-foil hat people don't know anything. This mass surveillance network that has been built was not built to spy on you as such. It was built to sell you stuff, a lot of stuff and then some more stuff.

        Sure, NSA get's a cut. But do you know what they found. Home made porn and a whole lot of it. They didn't find any terrorists as they where hoping for. Just people streaming sexual acts over the internet (private and on websites alike). They also found people acting like idiots, but tha

    • Our business has two choices for Internet access right now, and they both suck. There are things that we can't do with our business because our Internet service is not reliable enough. I'm *thrilled* to have more options, and if any companies can do a better job, I'd happily pay triple what we pay now for good quality Internet access.
    • $10 per system outlet / line fee and you must rent our gateway. For only $20/mo you can also buy our video fastpass get Netflix / YouTube and more at full speed Free when you take Comcast TV Digital mega pack or higher.

      Tv mega pack starts at $89/mo + taxes and local TV / RSN fees.

  • by SlaveToTheGrind ( 546262 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @02:59PM (#55903303)

    What problems does this solve that a PC and a mobile hotspot do not? Maybe, just maybe, I don't actually need a separate cellular connection for each and every device I own.

    • It solves the problem of not enough people being product for advertisers and data aggregators.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The actual market this is Microsoft. They get control of your computer to (a) charge rent on your software ("leasing" your "cloud" service) and (b) the ability to monetise the metric shit-tonne of telemetry data it generates.

      Think about it: OSs and hardware in general have long since reached the "it works well enough" point for 99% of people and 90% of businesses, so that market is dying. You can't really sell updates and bugfixes (well you could but it would look really, really bad) and outside the apple

    • Need? Well I'm sure we can hack together all sorts of things when there's a need. But let's look at the wants:

      How about a data connection which doesn't annihilate the battery life of my phone?
      Not carrying around two devices?
      Leaving it to do something data related while I walk away with my phone in hand?

      There's lots of convenience based issues here. Most of us don't "need" most of the things we now take for granted.

      • I actually said "mobile hotspot," not "mobile phone." I understand there's some functional overlap, but I'm talking about MiFi/Jetpack/etc. So two of your points don't apply.

        As to carrying around two devices, if not having to stick an 80g device in your bag/pocket is worth ~$500/yr per laptop (and I typically have two with me), have at it. My question wasn't whether anyone on the face of the planet would be willing to make that tradeoff, but how many.

  • Who bought their games and couldn't play them because the authentication servers croaked during release day.

    And the more you pay, the faster you get to use your computer. Everyone else is sitting in the "please wait your turn" queue.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @03:15PM (#55903413)

    The Always Connected PC is just another toll of the death knell of ownership.

    You will pay per-use for autonomous cars owned by corporations, because owning cars will be deemed illegal, lobbied by Corporate Greed.

    You will lease all software, because a one-time cost does not satisfy Corporate Greed, who wants you to pay per month forever.

    You already lease cell phones. Damn things don't last more than 2-3 years. If they do last longer, then support for them dies prematurely. Either way, you're paying for new hardware as often as Corporate Greed demands.

    This is our future. Unfortunately, the mindless masses don't give a shit enough to change the way we're headed. Vote with your wallet is dead.

    • The Always Connected PC is just another toll of the death knell of ownership.

      corporations dont care about home owners and will gladly label them 'enthusiasts' in order to focus more on their own product channels. you can still build it yourself.

      You will lease all software, because a one-time cost does not satisfy Corporate Greed, who wants you to pay per month forever.

      the cathedral and the bazaar also applies here. companies are sick of being told theyre wasting money on charging for software, and now that apple has transitioned from tech to brand, others are doing the same. The question is can MS get away with the same rates apple charges? likely no.

      You already lease cell phones.

      speak for yourself. lineageOS means i can keep buyin

    • You're optimistic but none of this will happen.

      Cars: even after most cars are electric there will still be the petrol heads who like to drive their own classic car. Car companies are honestly probably making more money off people today then they would by renting cars. It's my opinion that spending too much on cars is the single biggest financial mistake people make, it's crazy how much people waste on cars. There will always be a market for people who want to drive their own cars.

      Software: Open source softw

      • Cars: even after most cars are electric there will still be the petrol heads who like to drive their own classic car.

        Until such cars are banned. And, this time, no constitutional amendment will come to the rescue.

      • You're optimistic but none of this will happen.

        Cars: even after most cars are electric there will still be the petrol heads who like to drive their own classic car. Car companies are honestly probably making more money off people today then they would by renting cars. It's my opinion that spending too much on cars is the single biggest financial mistake people make, it's crazy how much people waste on cars. There will always be a market for people who want to drive their own cars.

        Yes, there will be a market. And that market will be dwindled down to the millionaires who can afford the mandatory insurance for their "classic" gas-powered cars. This will go on for a little while, until autonomous car makers start statistically destroying the notion of allowing a dangerous meatsack to control a vehicle on public roadways (remember we humans kill thousands of other humans driving these death traps around all day), along with the environmentalists screaming about pollution. As autonomou

    • The Always Connected PC is just another toll of the death knell of ownership.

      Over exaggerating much? How is the idea of something being on, available and connected anything to do with ownership?
      Currently my desktop PC at home is and Always Connected PC. It's always on, and always connected.

      Is it such a disaster to get the same level of functionality on my laptop? Does not having to whip out my phone and enable the mobile hotspot suddenly mean that someone else owns my stuff?

      Get a grip.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by geekmux ( 1040042 )

        The Always Connected PC is just another toll of the death knell of ownership.

        Over exaggerating much? How is the idea of something being on, available and connected anything to do with ownership? Currently my desktop PC at home is and Always Connected PC. It's always on, and always connected.

        Is it such a disaster to get the same level of functionality on my laptop? Does not having to whip out my phone and enable the mobile hotspot suddenly mean that someone else owns my stuff?

        Get a grip.

        The Adobe Design suite of tools used to be a fairly expensive product that you paid a one-time license for. Now, it's a subscription model. You just pay monthly. Forever.

        You used to be able to buy a cell phone at a reasonable price, and then sign up for service. Now smartphones are so expensive that you take out a 2-year loan on them, paying for the hardware with the service. Because smartphones barely last past that agreement, you now hold a perpetual lease for phone hardware. You just pay that cost

  • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @03:44PM (#55903603)

    Lenovo's $799 Miix 630, unveiled at the show, is a Snapdragon 835 machine with a 12.3-inch display. Like other Qualcomm-based Windows 10 PCs, it will ship by default with the Windows 10 S operating system, but will be upgradable to Windows 10 Pro for free within 180 days of product activation, Neowin says. (Originally the updated cut-off date for upgrading for free from 10 S to Pro was March 2018.)

    A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is not a quick chip

    Native performance 2048/6565 Geekbench 4 single/multicode

    http://weborus.com/snapdragon-... [weborus.com]

    Performance running x86 code under emulation 1202/4068 single/multicore

    https://mspoweruser.com/first-... [mspoweruser.com]

    Meanwhile you can get a decent machine with an i5 or i7 for $799.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product... [newegg.com]

    My prediction - the official benchmarks will come out and they'll be terrible. These machines won't sell well, at least not at $799.

  • Always connected and it doesn't cost a dime in +100 countries.

    Now if I could get uTorrent to run on it...

  • Cortana is same from discontinuation new target acquired, cancellation is 3,2...

  • * MS will not cover roaming fees that can hit up to $15-20M. So that 1GB update may cost YOU $15K++

  • "Always Connected" makes sense, as if Mirosoft supplies ISP you must not disconnect ever or lose it. Any monies payed up front are forfeit.

    I assume for tracking purposes.

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