Microsoft is naming names of the first PC makers and mobile carriers who are committed to building and supporting Windows 10 "Always Connected" PCs.
During the Microsoft keynote at the Computex show on May 31, officials provided a list of expected vendors of the first Qualcomm ARM- and next wave of Intel-based PCs that will include support for built-in LTE/eSIM technology. Microsoft and its partners are referring to these PCs as "Always Connected."' eSIM is an electronic SIM technology that will make it easier for users to choose and activate their data plans.
Always Connected PCs are mobile devices that will provide full Windows 10 (not a stripped down version), LTE/eSIM connectivity and longer battery life. Intel officials say there are more than 30 Always Connected Intel-based PCs in market already.
The new wave of LTE/eSIM-capable Always Connected PCs are coming "within a year," Microsoft officials are saying. Qualcomm officials recently said to expect at least some Windows 10 on ARM devices before the end of calendar 2017. Today, a Qualcomm spokesperson wouldn't provide a firmer timeframe for the coming Windows 10 on ARM devices beyond saying "soon."
Mobile operators who will support Always Connected PCs with eSIM include AT&T, BT/EE, DTAG/T Mobile, Vodafone, Orange, Tele2, Swisscom, 3, KDDI, Gemalto, Oberthur, Gigsky, Transatel.
Update (May 31): China Mobile, which was part of the group of supporting operators, is no longer among them, said a Qualcomm spokesperson.
This coming version of Windows 10 for Qualcomm is not Windows RT revisited . It is a version of Microsoft's full Windows 10 desktop that's compiled natively to run on the Qualcomm CPU. It can run Universal Windows Platform apps. But it also will allow Win32 apps to run via emulation
Intel officials said the company is investing heavily in eSIM and LTE technologies and working closely with Microsoft to validate eSIM-enabled Always Connected devices using the Intel XMMTM 7260 modem and upcoming IntelXMM 7360 modem.