Always Connected PCs and eSIM are for your kids – not you

Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store (Image credit: Microsoft)

It's difficult to see the big picture when you're standing in the middle of the canvas. And the middle of the canvas is where we are now as we transition from a world of always-connected-smartphones and sometimes-connected-PCs to always connected smartphones and Always Connected PCs.

Most critics can't see past a limited focus of the PC form factor not needing to be always-connected. We have Wi-fi and hotspot tethering for that after all. Then there's that extra data cost for one's Always-Connected PC on top of one's cell phone plan.

These concerns are easily addressed. Ultimately it's not about how you're living in this increasingly connected world, it's about how your kids, tomorrow's decision makers, live in it.

A shifting reality

Image credit: Microsoft

Image credit: Microsoft

The above concerns are relevant in the context of an always-connected, light computing world where the cellular roadmap has been ruled by smartphones for just over 10 years.

The 2007 advent of the iPhone made smartphones the primary computer for many consumers. Desktop computers lagged behind this mobile revolution as the legacy tools for mundane and demanding productivity, while light mobile computing found its home in the pockets of the masses. The full power of Windows couldn't be efficiently sustained on a mobile processor. This is the world twenty-somethings grew up in, and the only world younger children know. Things have changed.

Celluar infrastructure can now accommodate the robust demands of desktop computing. Thus, contrary to popular belief, the PCs arrival on the cellular roadmap via Always Connected PCs (presumably followed by rumored Project Andromeda category devices) isn't a forced attempt at mobile relevance by Microsoft. It's the natural evolution of connected computing supported by Qualcomm.

How Qualcomm and Microsoft are making PCs post-smartphone devices

It's naïve to have assumed that always-connected smartphone computing would remain the only always-connected computing platform for the masses. The eventual move of full PC computing to the cellular roadmap in a mobile world where more complex computing is demanded was all but inevitable.

A shifting model for a shifting reality

Image credit: Microsoft

Image credit: Microsoft

Growing up in the 1970's and 1980's we had no public internet. When it became mainstream in the 90's it wasn't pervasive, smartphones weren't a thing, and not everyone had a computer.

So my generation came of age in a "disconnected" world where we didn't know friends real-time "status" unless we were with them. Looking up answers to questions had to wait until we could get to the library rather than asking an always-connected-know-it-all digital assistant on the spot as young people are accustomed to doing today.

We're raising a generation of always-connected children.

This generation's children and young adults are coming of age in an always-connected world where media, information, games, homework, job opportunities, shopping and virtually any aspect of life can be instantaneously accessed online, from anywhere, at any time from a high-speed mobile connection.

In fact, interactions online are becoming the preferred method of initial, if not primary interaction, when applying for jobs, shopping and other activity that has real-life impact. This is combined with the emotional and psychological effects of addictive and pervasive social media apps that demand constant attention to maintain one's "Snapstreak" as in Snapchat or social presence as in apps like Instagram. The always-connected digital world is the world young people psychologically and emotionally coexist within.

Always Connected PCs and the always-connected generation

Image credit: Microsoft

Image credit: Microsoft

To understand Always Connected PC's impact, my and older generations must realize that the digital world isn't just a thing accessed to get something done as it was for us when the internet came into being. For young adults and children, it is, in a very real sense, their world and is intricately intertwined with their physical reality.

Digital activity has real life and often immediate impact (and vice versa) whether professionally or personally. The inevitable evolution of "Always Connected" computing and the accompanying changing business models meet the next generation right where they are.

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PCs gaining the advantageous always-on, always-connected and power efficient benefits young people are used to having on smartphones while maintaining most of the power of PCs is a deliberate positioning by Microsoft and Qualcomm to fulfill an evident demand.

Smartphones though limited by mobile OSes and unchanging form factors are being pushed anually toward more PC-like computing. Second, tablets with mobile OSes, like the iPad Pro are being positioned as desktop alternatives. Always Connected PCs meet these needs.

Additionally, the new carrier model allows users to purchase data (potentially voice in the future) as needed from the Microsoft Store. This provides flexibility and control consistent with the culture of this mobile and transient generation which is likely less inclined to be locked into long-term contracts. Additionally, eSIM-enabled devices can share the same phone number with phones, which if Microsoft and partners go this route, could eliminate concerns for maintaining multiple cellular plans.

Why Microsoft may gain upper hand with carriers thanks to 'Always Connected' PCs

Technological shifts are deeper than the tech

Image credit: Microsoft

Image credit: Microsoft

The technology we accept, the behavioral shifts it brings and the changing business models it introduces are not founded solely on cool, cutting-edge hardware and software. There are emotional, cultural and psychological factors that profoundly influence the adoption of new technologies.

Andromeda, folding PCs, and Microsoft's vision for computing's future

We're at the beginning of this shift, but perhaps you're already convinced Always Connected PCs, Microsoft's rumored Andromeda device category and buying data (eventually voice) on the fly aren't for you. Okay, but kids, who live perpetually engulfed in a hybrid always-connected digital/physical reality, may have an entirely different opinion when they become the adult decision makers in several years.

And Qualcomm, whose cellular dominance reflects its reputation for placing long-term bets on future technology, along with Microsoft, will be ready for them having brought full PCs of varying form factors to the evolving cellular roadmap.

See Surface Pro LTE at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

66 Comments
  • I think the issue here is with devices that are generally used in places with wifi, such as laptops which tend to be used on desks (which are in locations with wifi) or on trains (no good for mobile phone signals, and so have wifi). With these devices always on functionality may be of occasional use but for most people will hardly change a thing about the way they use the devices. Mostly WiFi will be the cheaper or more reliable (trains...) option. Where always on starts to be of benefit is with the tablet (the smaller the tablet, the less desk-oriented the usage) and the not-Phones, and any remaining smart phone hold-outs after the not-Phone revolution has hit. No need to worry about many accounts, since I only need one device always connected which will be my not-Phone, replacing both smart phone and tablet and hopefully my private laptop too. My dumb phone will cover voice (or maybe my not-Phone can do that too?) and my secure works laptop will do whatever works decide (not likely always connected due to security). My desktop is wired, so already always connected anyway. My TV stick PC is wireless but always in range of my router so also already always connected. Simple, and still I only need the one sim-connected device. Still can't see a major draw for laptops to go always connected, especially in a not-Phone oriented world (coming...) but I suppose some will still need an Android smart phone so it might be good if they could share a sim with the not-Phones. The main problem with esims is the choice of providers and competition issues. Only on EE in the UK? Great. No thanks. Until I can choose my provider I will stick with traditional sims. If the not-Phones from MS try to force us to use one mobile network provider with whom MS has sorted a special deal then I'm not so interested and MS would be making a bad mistake.
  • not-Phones... rofl.  Only Microsoft marketing would think the best way to try and re-introduce a new product would be to make sure we don't call it what it is....
  • I'm on O2 in the UK, and wouldn't use EE for anything, ever. Deal breaker straight away if they're the only network supporting eSIM. Mind you, I have my phone when I'm not at my PC anyway, and have no need for a tablet/other device
  • The problem is two fold adoption and access, if it's solely EE in the UK then that poses a fundamental flaw in accessibility. Unlike the fiasco of the initial tap to pay on Windows phone 8.0, were orange in france were the only launch partner in the EU. The limitation here were two pieces of hardware secure sims and ability of phone to integrate / interact with secure sims - as opposed to embedding the secure element on the phone. The way I see it, Motherboard OEMs can include Esims integrated into the motherboard. However there-in is three problems: security, privacy and standardisation across the board. If it's a standard chipset it's easier to upgrade and patch - inversely a standard chipset if widespread has a flaw then it impacts many people as seen by the meltdown and spectre flaws. In regards to privacy, there are those who are simply opposed to any such connectivity because it's Microsoft and there are legitimate concerns but that falls into the folds of security. The other concern, is pretty much US specific due to repeal of net neutrality.
  • You can pop in any SIM card, there is no vendor lock-in with always connected PCs.
  • In Japan... I've tried WiFi on Shinkansen a couple of times, unreliable... My phone's LTE (+free tether) works flawlessly.
    Wifi from my carrier has good connection but it disconnects when train moved away from the station. I'd love to have e-sim on all my devices (hopefully later this year) so I can switch profiles on the fly.
  • Well, I think I got RoadRunner Cable Modem Service for my Home PCs sometime around 1998. So, I have had 'Always Connected PCs' for about 20 years. I think this needs to say what it really is.... that is 'Always-Connected Tablets for when you go Outside or Away'.... for when you are on the GO.... (becuase honestly once you sit down someplace, well, usually WiFi is available. ) This was my initial attraction to Smart Phones..... Most of the utility of a tablet, albiet in a smaller size, but always connected. For my needs, Microsoft did it best in November 2012 (more than 5 years ago), when it released Windows Phone 8 on the Nokia Lumia 920. It just had everything I needed at the time. Later, I bought a Nokia Lumia 2520, which had Windows 8 RT, with the cellular option, and I had an ALways connected Tablet (Oh wait, you guys are calling these PCs now.... sorry, better adopt the proper pc PC spin) that was very capable (even had a bluetooth keyboard and mouse for it).. Well, fast forward..... My Always Connected WIndows Devices and their operating systems have been abandoned... Heck, even gave them a couple of chances with it... purchasing Lumia 1520s and later 950XLs. MIcrosoft is now trying to convince me that I should be lugging around a Laptop again... why... because they can sell Windows on it.... Sorry... always conected PCs is nothing new.... stop trying to spin it otherwise.... The real innovation in 'Always Connected Anything' has nothing to do with Microsoft, Google or Apple'. Rather, at least in North America (Canada, USA & Mexico), it will come from Service Providers offering very offordable Data Plans. Without that, everyone has just increased their monthly expenses significantly by having their Tablet (ooooppps sorry I did it again... Always Connected PC)  talk to everything all of the time.... eating up data...
  • You said it all.
  • You make a good point. PCs have a function that reduces data usage when connected to a metered service, but how well does that work? As well as it does on Windows Mobile? If it works well then great, but if not there will be big problems. I've had no cause to test this and so I can't say, but if it doesn't work well off the bat there will be strife.
  • In the classroom secure WiFi will always be used.  For me..Tethering to my always on my person smartphone will be continued to be used.
  • The only issue with smartphones for tethering I see today is that the battery is drained very fast, so they work well only if you are working inside and your phone is always charged to electricity This won't be an issue with Windows ARM, since your phone will keep the battery. But the only issue I see is that Huawei 4G USB modems already are available for this for a reasonable price, so Windows ARM mass launch better be affordable to low and middle income families that cannot pay for a Nvme SSD Ultrabook with 4K IPS display, high end CPU, backlit keyboard lighting and 16GB of RAM.  For a Pro like me, the Intel Pentium N4200 + 4GB of RAM + 500GB storage drive is enough on a always connected mobile device.
  • I am a IT Pro.  I tether all the time to connect to my client networks, etc.  I use a Note 8 and the battery last all day along with my Surface Book 2.  My Unlimeted T-Mobile Plan gives me 10 gb of 4g LTE tethering a month.  I don't even come close to reaching that limit.  When I am in my client's office, I use their secure WiFi (which, I set up and manage).  So, no need in paying extra with "Pay-as-you-Go" esim or LTE built in laptops or tablets. I also have 2 daughters on my family plan and they too tether without battery or data overage issues. I stated in Daniel's and many other like subject editorials...I really don't think this will take off - especially for those already on an unlimited data plan with their carriers here in the states.  Most include tethering now.  
  • You're making a different distinction.  Arm-based devices versus Intel-based devices.  That's a different debate.  And, again, I insist it comes down to VALUE expressed by the customer.  As I pointed out to Jason, most have no issues at all with ANY device that's always-connected.  Few people express any fear or concern about that as a useful concept.  But at what COST?  My wife and I almost always busted our data limits.  We would frequently have to pay AT&T the ridiculous overage costs.  We finally had to go with their highest data package (which still costs a fortune, but it's cheaper than the overages).  But I'll be darned if we're going to pay for TWO MORE LINES and the costs associated with those just to add always-connected tablets to our plan.  IT WOULDN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF OUR TABLETS WERE ARM-BASED.  AT&T doesn't give you a special discount for ARM-based devices.  So, without ANY additional cost, we can currently connect not just our two Surface Pros to the internet any time, anywhere, we can also connect other people's devices if we need to.   Let's not also forget that, right now, the cost of these early Windows On ARM devices are as expensive or MORE expensive to purchase than their Intel counterparts.  And, let's face it, I can get better PERFORMANCE from my Intel-based tablet than the WOA version.  Will that always be the case?  Likely not.  Similarly, while it is more expensive NOW to keep adding devices onto our wireless plan, I don't expect that always to be the case.  Acceptance of where this is all going has much more to do with the initial and ongoing $$$ than anything else.  Competition is a good thing, and usually drives these costs down.
  • Why does it matter, that the ARM devices have a similar price? You still get longer battery duration, significantly longer standby...this is a key feature for "always connected" and a slimmer and lighter device. The only trade-of is a bit less performance - which in many cases you do not even need.
  • Great article for those stuck in the pre-dial up internet era lol. Always connected PCs were inevitable as that is the only way it was going to go, after all Data is the commodity of the digital era.
  • Many of the naysayers are just trolls with nothing better to do.  I love the idea of an always connected device like a laptop.  Phones leave a lot to be desired and I find them very limiting so for travel purposes where I don't want to connect to some hinky wifi, always connected Esim is my choice.
  • Are you US by any chance? I suspect so since you use the term 'hinky'. You see, in many places outside the US WiFi is usually not 'hinky' and works well. I can see that esim is going to be very helpful in the US for many cable company, poor public WiFi and ISP reasons. For areas of the world with more developed internet infrastructure and far more restricted esim options however, things are very much not so great with this plan. I would hesitate to call people out for trolling when there are legitimate and well presented concerns being discussed. Are you sure you know what a troll is? I'm not being sarky here, it is an often used term and sometimes used where it shouldn't be. I think you're using it incorrectly in this case. I also don't think there are many 'naysayers'. Basically, for added functionality this is all good, but esim only devices should not come out until broad support is in place (should support trad. sims too until then) which is the fear for the not-Phones, and laptops are probably not the best usage scenario for this new tech as it'll hardly revolutionise their use in many places in the world. Now, tablets and not-Phones stand to benefit, but only when I can choose my supplier. Until then, esim is a trap.
  • Post-smartphone? The only difference between what we call a smartphone and a PC is basically screen size. A smartphone fits in your pocket and a PC doesn't. Post-smartphone won't be a traditional PC, that is a rediculous thought. Something that doesn't fit in your pocket won't do it. It will be some sort of implanted AR situation and is possibly decades away. Always connected might be nice for a PC, but it doesn't change anything, especially for our kids. Data availability isn't the issue with Windows PCs.
  • You are ridiculous sir, smartphones are consumption devices, 2 in 1s and laptops which are connected to Mobile Internet are used for very different purpose than a smartphone.  To be honest the only reason I subscribed to a 24 month data plan on a smartphone was so I could use the tethering connection to connect my Netbook to Internet and do my homework for my Master's degree. This would never be possible on a smartphone, Chormebook or an iOS or Android tablet. Windows is for Pro's, Android and iOS are for the rest.
  • Smartphones are "consumption devices" because of screen screen size and input limitations. Of course answering emails, viewing documents, taking notes, taking payments, editing photos and video, and plenty of other work is done on a smartphone. The only advantage that Windows has now is hardware capabilities (stronger CPU and GPU) and legacy programs. Most everything else can be and is being solved by software. Windows is for professionals but everyday more and more tasks can be completed on other platforms. Sounds like you basically agreed with me. Windows is for a niche audience and data access isn't the reason for that.
  • "Windows is for a niche audience "  yeah, a 1.5 billion niche market or a market (PC, laptop) where MS has a 85-90% market share   lot's of companies would crave for this kind of "niche market". Yeah editing photo's and video CAN be done on a smartphone - I believe there is someone in Alabama who performs serious photo editing on his smartphone  :-)
  • It is growing more and more niche as smartphones and other platforms become more robust. Windows share of the broad computing market is now below 20%. Windows is only needed for the more intensive tasks.
  • You are incorrect, Gabriel.  I can do everything you describe on my Lumia 950 right now.  I can connect a keyboard to it, I can connect a mouse to it, all by blue tooth or by the dock.  I can connect a regular monitor to it, too.  I don't actually HAVE to use my Surface Pro.  I use my smartphone and my Surface Pro completely interchangeably for consumption or productivity.  The flexibility is completely dependent upon the situation at the time and my preference.   
  • "Windows is for Pro's, Android and iOS are for the rest." Except that "the rest" outnumber "the Pros" by about 10,000 to 1.  The vast majority of people do not need to be lugging desktop Windows around, for web/email/texting/photos/music/movies/TV shows/etc.   You know, MOBILE stuff.   I am a "Pro".   I use Windows all day long at my job, just like most people.   But I don't need or WANT desktop Windows 10 - of all things - in my pocket.   I never have to login to an Oracle DB and edit/compile a Stored Procedure while at the beach.   I never have to fix a DLL while at a baseball game.   I never have to RDP into a production server and edit a Windows Reporting .rdl file while in my car.  These are the things I do all day, every day with Windows.  At the office, or at home over wifi.   Sure, I COULD take an 18 wheeled truck to the supermarket.   But its much easier and more practical to drive a car, or even walk.  
  • There's  8 "I 's"  in your comment. Thank you for sharing "your" view, the rest of the world might have a completely different view, At least 1.5 billion people that use a Windows device every day.
  • You're right. He should have claimed to represent billions of people, as you do. ;)
  • I'm sure those 1.5 billion peple NEED to run Visual Studio while at the beach.  
  • But what if there's a powerful device that can do it all (pro, consumption) and is just as portable?  I think/hope that's where we're moving towards.
  • "Post smartphone? The only difference between what we call smartphones and PCs is basically screen size." Hi bleached that's not true. IPhones and iPads have the same exact OS, and virtually the same firm factor, a rectangular slate. ...The only difference...screen size. Still, despite this reality the majority of the human population that uses computers defers to Windows PCs when more demanding computing that can't be handled on: 1. A mobile OS and
    2. Purely slate form factor. Apple recognizes this that's why its attempting to address both those differences by: 1. Mimicking the 2-in-1 form factor by providing a keyboard and the iPad. Yet to many people's vocal disappointment, there's still no mouse support.
    2. Two making iOS more powerful and iPad hardware more capable. These are very CLEAR attempts Apple is making to make what is essentially a larger iPhone, (despite your claim) is inherently quite different from PCs, MORE like PCs. The growth in the continued growth if Window 2-in-1 PCs, recent holiday uptake if the PC industry and decline of iPad sales indicate that people are gravitating to "what is different" and better suited to thier needs when more demanding computing is required. So they both recognize, and prefer that difference. PC's and smartphones have greater differences than mere size. Now, if you look at what Microsoft is attempting to do (no success guaranteed of course) is to make a device that addresses the identified differences so that size will LITERALLY not figuratively or via hyperbole, be the only difference between what people put in their pockets and on thier desks: 1. A context confirm desktop OS that via CShell is mobile friendly, and productivity focused on desktop. 2. Context conforming hardware, that can be slate tablet, handheld or laptop 💻 or desktop. Again, it's an uphill battle for MS but if some folks here take off thier "MS hate hats" and look at the attempt objectively, they'll see its a sound strategy. In fact, if the same folks who are slamming Microsoft's attempts view the same strategy through an apple or google lens, that these companies were building context-conforming hardware around a single context conforming os, to make a device that could be tablet, desktop and make calls, such a move would be celebrated. Finally, bleached I see your repeated claims of lack of data not being Microsoft's problem in the conversations about Always Connected PCs. You're a right, it's not. But full commitment to an OS ON THE CELLUAR PLATFORM and MOBILE HARDWARE is. The dynamic data provisioning is not the focus. It is ancillary to a shifting model evoked by what appears to be Microsoft's commitment to an OS ON THE CELLULAR PLATFORM and MOBILE HARDWARE. Always connected PCs is, as mentioned in the piece an inevitable evolution of mobile computing. The "full" power of Windows which was left behind can finally join the mobile celluar roadmap. (THE OS ASPECT MENTIONED ABOVE.) That logically provokes considerations and creative thinking about hardware designs that can serve traditional PC productivity scenarios, and accommodate mobile computing as well. (THE HARDWARE ASPECT MENTIONED ABOVE) Microsoft's introducing the ability to buy data through the Windows Store is part of the changing model this brings to the table. We're still at the beginning here, and as i open in the piece its hard to see the big picture while standing in the middle if the canvas, which us where we are now.
    But current concerns will likely be addressed as the model evolves. 1. Cost: Carriers will be forced to compete on price since consumers will have more control over who they buy data (potentially voice in future). 2. eSIM: eSIM devices, can technologically share the same phone number as demonstrated by a Chinese company. If MS and partners goes this route, thus precludes the concern for an additional plan. No, MS problem isn't lack of data, it's commitment to an OS on cellular platform and mobile hardware. It seems that Always Connected PCs, Windows on ARM and Project Andromeda is Microsoft's response to that and consumer control if data and the derivative leverage this gives Microsoft with carriers is ancillary to this strategy. No, Lack of data isn't MS problem, buy leverage with carriers is. This helps address that.
  • Google had been doing context comforming software since Honeycomb. It now spans wearables, tablets, TV, auto, phones, tablets, and there is even a desktop mode in Android. It isn't unique to Windows and neither is the failure of such attempts. Google and Microsoft haven't been very successful with this. Maybe Apple is right, trying to make your toaster double as a refrigerator is the wrong approach. Google seems to be moving away from a unified OS. Carrier issues are a symptom, not a cause. Microsoft needs a desirable platform to get carriers on board, it isn't the other way around. Maybe Andromeda will be something totally new and revolutionary and bring this. We will see. If it is just WP4, it has no future.
  • Heres the thing, Always Connected PCs are already showing early signs of changing things with carriers in Microsoft's favor. As we know, carriers weren't very motivated to carry Windows phones. For various reasons, some thier own fault for not pushing them, some MS fault, they were hard to move off the shelves. Now there are no guarantees here, we'll see how things pan out, but carriers are already agreeing to carry Always Connected PCs. Now as I've noted several times, (unlike with Windows phones) carriers have a vested interest in carrying Always connected PCs. Because, consumers ability to purchase data (voice in future) directly from Windows from a choice of carriers makes things more competitive for carriers, offering devices with the promotion of competitively priced packages is advantageous to carriers. Microsoft is hoping to use consumer behaviour (something I believe carriers already see, thus part of the reason some are agreeing to carry the devices) to push carriers to carry cellular PCs. A shift which will likely flow right in the Andromeda device category.
  • If we need corollary, just look at TV and radio! Even those are fast becoming irrelevant but at one point everyone was up in arms about the pervasive nature of programming over the air... Ppl are insane when there's ANY kind of criticism of the next thing coming as tho we never learn to just embrace everything and let the chips fall where they may 🙄
  • I think you need to explain the corollary a bit more.  I don't see the connection.  I'm not familiar with a "point everyone was up in arms about the pervasive nature of programming over the air".  What does that mean?  We haven't had OTA stations in our area since 1985.  It was cable first and later satellite (which we've had since 1994).  We ALWAYS chose based on the value-per-dollar.  And while we quickly embraced Hulu and Netflix, we still have Dish because A) there are things you can't get on streaming services and B) even if you CAN get them on streaming services, we can see them EARLIER on satellite (plus, with DVR, we can skip commercials where you CAN'T on Hulu or Netflix).  And, obviously, there are things you can only get on Hulu or Netflix.  So, I'm not seeing the connection you're trying top draw here.
  • The Always-Connected PC would only have a chance to succeed on the 5G/eSIM network with Intel or AMD processors.  The Qualcomm processor based ACPC would struggle with the proposed price range.  Andromeda has a chance but it has to have adequate phone features.  Otherwise, it would limit itself to a niche product.
  • But will it though? I like the idea of carrying a not-Phone and a dumb phone in a way, makes it easier to take a call without looking like a mugger's meal ticket. Still, I would like the flexibility to make and take calls on my not-Phone. I suppose I'll see how it plays out soon.
  • You gain nothing.  You don't think your Not-Phone doesn't look like a mugger's meal ticket?
  • Yes I expect it will. Hence my comment that having a dumb phone as well for calls would reduce such exposure. Did you not understand my post?
  • Not really, i would not touch an Intel or AMD device with a ten-foot pole when battery and standby duration is of concern...ever. They are fine if they stay docked at home.
  • The Qualcomm based ACPC is equivalent to an i3 PC at best and it run apps thru emulation.  That won't satisfy most of the PC users who demand i5 or above and run apps natively.
  • PCs (laptops and tablets) have always had the option to be always connected without requiring any technical knowledge. I used my ASUS EP121 Windows 7 slate in 2011 with a data stick /modem from my carrier. I realized after about 6 months I didn't need that, because most of the times I used my PC I had WiFi (secured network 90% of the time) available. The rare times I used my computer without WiFi being available, it was mostly offline usage with the occasional tethering (that was never for longer than 5 minutes). Let's stop pretending this will revolutionalize Windows, or as if this what will make people Flock to Windows from their smartphones. This is like saying converting the control panel to the Settings app will shake things up for the better. The majority of usecase scenarios for Windows happens at fixed locations, especially for creators and students. Windows 10 does not have a mobility problem, and people generally do not expect mobility or want mobility significantly from Windows Desktop OS. If this was a problem, in the age of the smartphone, users (excluding entreprise) would've dropped Windows Desktop OS in masses, but that is not the case. It has grown and existed alongside the dominating smartphone OS's. Microsoft has a mobility problem, and Windows is not the answer to that.
  • Exactly. Data availability isn't an issue with Windows. This changes nothing. If Microsoft wants a mobile platform, they need to make one, not try to bend Windows.
  • While I think you are mostly off the wall here bleached.  You hit the nail on the head with this post.   Keep it short and to the point,  and not your mostly incessant ranting and you will make much better points.
  • I love Windows 10 and love 2 in 1s, but I couldn't wait until Microsoft launched a cost effective 2 in 1 ARM device with data plans, I think this is the future, but for now I am planning to have a mobile bandwidth data plan using my smartphone. So during my weekend purchase, I got a device that is better than Surface 3 but slower than Surface Pro 3, I got the ASUS Vivo Book Flip 12 and I got this for just $500 TP203NA, so here is what I'll do     Get rid of my mobile monthly data plan in Telefonica (Spanish carrier)
        Change my carrier to Unefon (Mexican pre-paid carrier).  There is a great promotion that gives you unlimited bandwith/calls/sms messages for 24 hours, and it just costs 50 cents (half a dollar) that is a bargain and I'm sure many like me who don't have high income will do something similar. Lets be honest, smartphones are cool for consumption, but when you need Internet access for productivity, there is nothing better than a 2 in 1. Just my 2 c