Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 will pack enhancements related to the connectivity options that users can benefit of, including easier management of 3G, 4G and WiFi network connections.
Windows 8 was designed to fit the needs of mobile users, and the new connectivity capabilities it features were aimed specifically at ensuring that users can take full advantage of what Microsoft calls “a mobile and wireless future.”
The platform was re-engineered to offer more in terms of network connectivity, packing enhancements that go beyond incremental improvements.
“This is a good example of work that requires new hardware to work in concert with new software in order to realize its full potential,” Billy Anders, group program manager on Microsoft’s devices and networking team, explains.
“We knew that if we were to give you true mobility, that Wi-Fi alone would not be enough. Therefore, for Windows 8, we fully developed and integrated mobile broadband (MB) as a first-class connectivity experience within Windows – right alongside Wi-Fi,” he also explains.
Broadband capabilities have been included in Windows 7 as well, though things were not as simple when it came to actually connecting to a network.
In addition to SIM cards, specific broadband modems and hardware, users also needed to install drivers on their devices to ensure that the connectivity was possible.
In Windows 8, Microsoft packed an in-box mobile broadband class driver that offers support for all required devices and which eliminates the need to seek for a specific driver to connect to the Internet.
With Windows 8, you will simply have to plug in the device and connect. The said driver will be up to date at all times through Windows Update, which ensures that users benefit from a reliable mobile broadband experience.
“The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) recently approved the Mobile Broadband Interface Model (MBIM) specification as a standard, and major device makers have already begun adopting this standard into their device designs, including some designed for other operating systems,” Anders also notes.
Another important feature in Windows 8 is the possibility to turn on and off individual radios (Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, or Bluetooth). Moreover, there is an airplane mode that disables all of the radios at the same time.
Moreover, Windows 8 prioritizes Wi-Fi networks over broadband when a preferred Wi-Fi network is in range. This should result in less data usage on mobile networks and in reduced costs.
“The new wireless network settings in Windows 8 allow you to see and connect to all available MB and Wi-Fi networks from one convenient user interface. We made sure that this interface is consistent and allows you to think less about which network you want to connect,” Anders explains.
“Windows does this by starting with the right default behaviors, and then it gets smarter by learning your network preferences over time.”
“We designed Windows 8 with you—and mobility—in mind. We set out to simplify your experience with getting and staying connected across mobile broadband and Wi-Fi networks, removing hurdles and whenever possible, doing the right things automatically for you,” Anders concludes.