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Microsoft is positioning Always-Connected PCs as the future of business devices

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These days, Windows PCs with built-in cellular connectivity are still fairly rare. But Microsoft is on a campaign to change this, especially in the business space.


Credit: Microsoft

During Microsoft’s WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference) 2018 events in Taipei and Shenzhen over the past couple of weeks, Microsoft execs have been evangelizing so-called “Always Connected” devices.

Always Connected devicesare ARM and Intel mobile PCs with LTE cellular networking built-in which may use either SIM or eSIM technology for managing that connectivity. Though the majority of PCs from Microsoft itself and its PC partners still don’t come with LTE built-in, Microsoft execs say they are anticipating this will change.

Microsoft’s Surface Go two-in-one laptop with LTE built-in is scheduled for release before the end of this calendar year, last we’ve heard. And recently, Lenovo unveiled the first PC running the Snapdragon 850 chip, its Yoga C630 WOS. Last week, Samsung followed suite with the Snapdragon 850-based Galaxy Book2. Qualcomm has made one of the main selling points of the Snapdragon 850 its improved LTE speeds, saying the new processor will speed things up by 20 percent.

When Microsoft first began touting the first Windows 10-on-ARM devices from its OEM partners last summer, officials treated Always Connected PCs as a unique category. But that narrative is shifting, said Erin Chapple, Corporate Vice President of Windows Server, Always Connected PCs and OS Platform Technologies.

“A ‘modern device,’ now, to us, is an Always Connected PC,” she said.

Constant connectivity becomes part of what Microsoft is advising its OEMs to build into new devices, the same way it espouses Windows Hello, far-field voice recognition and more, Chapple noted.

The company also is starting to get serious about pushing connected computing as not just a consumer nicety, but as a business necessity, Chapple said. “It’s still important to talk to consumers (about connected computing),” she said, “but the future opportunity ahead is commercial.”

(That said, Microsoft recently published a new page about LTE connectivity aimed at consumers.)

Microsoft’s pitch to businesses is that built-in LTE networking will allow them to shift to “network as a service,” rather than having to set up and run their own custom networks, Chapple said. Access to fast, reliable cellular networks as part of their computing experience will alow them to skip using untrusted public networks, she added.

Always Connected PCs were just one of the tracks covered at WinHEC. Other tracks included Windows Server 2019; Windows 10 in S Mode; security: fundamentals: such as AutoPilot, Modern Standby, etc.; and the intelligent edge. For the first time at WinHEC, women in tech was also a big emphasis.

Speaking of Windows 10 in S Mode, which Microsoft has been working to get OEMs to ship on PCs — especially Always Connected ones — there will be a new requirement in Windows 10 1809 (the October Update) for Windows 10 Pro in S Mode devices. Devices running Pro in S Mode will be required to have Internet Connectivity as an out-of-the-box requirement, and will require users to log in with Azure Active Directory if those devices are enrolled in AutoPilot, as officials noted at the Microsoft Ignite IT pro conference.

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Biden Is Giving Apple’s Steve Jobs An Incredible Posthumous Award

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Jobs, who co-founded the technology company Apple Inc., was arguably one of the most influential figures in the world of technology. Dubbed a visionary, he was credited with being the driving force behind several products and ideas that have shaped the modern world. It was under Jobs’ leadership that Apple came up with revolutionary products like the iPod, Mac computers, and perhaps, his single most important contribution to the world of consumer technology; the almighty iPhone.

After Jobs debuted the first-generation iPhone in 2007, he pretty much set the tone for the evolution of the modern smartphone. Even in 2022, more than a decade after his passing, the modern smartphone continues to base themselves on the blueprint and form factor that Jobs created. Needless to say, he has often been hailed as the harbinger of the smartphone revolution — one that directly and indirectly transformed the lives of millions of people across the globe.

When Steve Jobs is posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 7, for many of his fans and followers, it will serve as a moment of reflection for such an impactful figure in technological history.

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GM Built 95,000 Vehicles It Can’t Sell

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In its earnings report, sales across all GM-owned brands are not expected to slow down any time soon, despite the roughly 95,000 vehicles that can’t be sold. GM noted in an SEC filing report from July 1 that these vehicles will be finished in the latter half of 2022, as semiconductors begin to flood back into the market. This could happen sooner, as reports since late April have claimed the shortage is now down to a transport logistics issue rather than a silicon supply issue.

GM highlighted in its report that its third quarter could provide a strong boost to its market share, reflective of growing demand for its vehicles. The company cited a 29% year-over-year increase to sales figures across commercial, government, and rental sectors.

The car manufacturer broke its projections down further, claiming that the commercial demand for midsize pickups saw an increase of 65%, while other vehicle groups enjoyed a 12 to 14% boost. Electric vehicles were also mentioned in the report. Over 7,300 electric vehicles were sold in the second quarter of 2022, which included the GMC Hummer EV Pickup, Chevrolet Bolt EV, and BrightDrop Zevo 600 van. However, these sales figures might have looked more hopeful for the future of EV, if the semiconductor chip shortage not been an obstacle. As of June 30, the company reported 247,839 vehicles (or about 152,839 after you subtract the 95,000 unfinished vehicles) were stored in its collective inventory, many of which were already on their way to retailers.

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Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica: Everything We Know About The Supercar

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The Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica is on its way, and from what we’ve seen, it looks like a groundbreaking display form the renowned automaker.

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