Windows 10 could introduce smart tricks for ‘always connected’ laptops

Windows 10 gets features for always-connected laptops

The next major update for Windows 10 (likely to emerge next spring) may well yield better power management functionality – and therefore boosted battery life for notebooks. On top of that, it's expected to enable seamless set-up of a mobile data plan on a laptop that boosts cellular connectivity.

The latter will obviously be a boon when it comes to the ‘always connected’ Qualcomm-powered notebooks (powered by Snapdragon 835 chips with integrated LTE) which were unveiled earlier this week.

As ZDNet reports, all this comes from slides revealed at the recent WinHEC workshop in Taipei. Some LTE-toting notebooks already come with bundled SIM cards (or options for them), but the idea with the next version of Windows 10 will be to introduce a full ‘consumer eSIM’ capability. (An eSIM is an embedded SIM card, built into the device so you don’t have to mess around swapping fiddly little bits of plastic as per the traditional SIM model).

What that means is you’ll be able to seamlessly hook up your Windows 10 tablet or laptop with a data plan from your mobile carrier, with the ability to grab an eSIM profile straight from the cloud. As ZDNet clarifies, you won’t need any in-store activation to use this functionality, and it sounds like it’ll be a truly no-fuss procedure.

It’s certainly a neat idea, although there will be caveats, such as it only being available in certain geographical markets, and it will also be dependent on mobile carriers as well.

On the business front, an enterprise eSIM will also be piloted, allowing companies to purchase bundled-together subscriptions for multiple staff members, utilizing device management capabilities for easy deployment across the workforce.

Power to the people

As we mentioned at the outset, the other interesting development unearthed pertains to power management, and a considerable boost is expected on this front in the next big update for Windows 10.

Specifically, Microsoft said that it was working closely with Intel (note that there will be ‘always connected’ PCs built around Intel chips as well as Qualcomm) to push forward with driving the ‘accelerated readiness’ of Modern Standby devices.

Any power-efficiency improvements will obviously be very welcome for all notebooks in terms of extending battery life. Qualcomm-powered ‘always connected’ laptops are already set to offer a claimed battery life of up to 20 hours when these devices launch in the spring of next year, possibly to coincide with 2018’s first big Windows 10 update.

Apparently both Microsoft and Intel are also keen to get Modern Standby going on desktop PCs and not just laptops, with a ‘Wake-on Remote Desktop’ feature planned for jolting your machine into action in order to use it from a remote location.

Just a few months ago, Microsoft was pushing to boost battery longevity for portables with Windows 10. So, this news that said laptops should last even longer should come as music to users' ears.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).