Today, at the Computex 2017 tech expo, Microsoft and Qualcomm announced details of new Always Connected PCs on the way from ASUS, HP and Lenovo, built on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 'Mobile PC Platform'. Despite using ARM-based processors, these new laptops and 2-in-1s will run the full version of Windows 10, with the ability to run x86 desktop applications through emulation.
"There is a new generation of users that need to be connected to the cloud at all times," Microsoft said today. "They are students, creators, freelancers, small businesses, and enterprises. This means sharing experiences across screens and leveraging the latest network technology like gigabit LTE and eSIM. We are collaborating with our ecosystem on a shared vision."
To help realize that vision for Always Connected devices, Microsoft announced that it's been working not only with Qualcomm, but also with Intel, and a range of manufacturer and carrier partners, "to provide seamless eSIM connectivity".
Embedded SIMs make it easier for users to switch between carriers and data plans without having to deal with the fiddly process of swapping physical SIM cards in their devices. Imagine, for example, being able to visit another country and simply being able to visit the Windows Store to purchase a chunk of data from a local carrier - rather than having to rely on costly international data roaming from your own carrier, or going to a brick-and-mortar store to buy a local SIM to insert into your laptop.
Microsoft announced eSIM support from a range of global carriers for its Always Connected PCs today, including:
- China Mobile
In addition to HP, Lenovo and ASUS, Microsoft also said that other hardware partners - including Dell, Xiaomi, Huawei and VAIO - "are committed to this new category of Always Connected PCs using eSIM technology".