Windows 8 to have airplane mode, seamless network switching

Microsoft's upcoming flagship operating system Windows 8 may soon have an "airplane mode" that switches off all its radio devices - or stay online by seamlessly switching among Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G networks.   Billy Anders, a group program manager on Microsoft's devices and networking team, also said they want to keep Windows connected to a network even when in a low-power state.   "We looked at the fundamentals of wireless connectivity and re-engineered Windows 8 for a mobile and wireless future, going 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," Anders said in a blog post.   Anders noted Wi-Fi alone would not be enough for true mobility, and integrated mobile broadband (MB) should be right alongside Wi-Fi.   In Windows 8, he said Microsoft developed an in-box mobile broadband class driver that works with all of these devices and eliminates the need for additional device driver software.   "You just plug in the device and connect. The driver stays up to date via Windows Update, ensuring you have a reliable mobile broadband experience," he said.   Managing radio connections, airplane mode   Anders said the new Windows 8 network settings allow a user to turn individual radios on and off, including Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, or Bluetooth.   But it also allows users to disable all radios at once with the new “airplane mode.”   "You can turn airplane mode on or off in one click," Anders said.   Windows 8 also provides native radio management to eliminate the conflicts and confusion, and to provide a consistent experience for controlling radios without the need to install additional software.   Yet, Anders said that while this may be a new feature for PCs, it has long been available on today’s mobile phones - "or Windows Mobile phones, going way back."   Wireless network settings   Also, the new wireless network settings in Windows 8 allow a user 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. Windows does this by starting with the right default behaviors, and then it gets smarter by learning your network preferences over time," Anders said.   He said one default behavior is to prioritize Wi-Fi networks over broadband whenever a preferred Wi-Fi networks is available.   "When you connect to a Wi-Fi network, we automatically disconnect you from your mobile broadband network and, when appropriate, power down the mobile broadband device, which also increases battery life. If no preferred Wi-Fi network is available, we automatically reconnect you to your preferred mobile broadband network," Anders said.   To make sure Windows 8 connects to the right network when multiple networks are available, Windows maintains an ordered list of preferred networks based on the user's explicit connect and disconnect actions, as well as the network type.   Reconnect after standby   Windows can reconnect faster to preferred Wi-Fi networks when the device resumes from standby.   Also, Windows can reconnect faster to preferred Wi-Fi networks by optimizing operations in the networking stack, and providing the network list, connection information, and hints to the Wi-Fi adapter.   "Now when your PC resumes from standby, your Wi-Fi adapter already has all the information it needs to connect to your preferred Wi-Fi networks. This means you can reconnect your PC to a Wi-Fi network from standby in about a second –oftentimes before your display is even ready. You do not have to do anything special for this – Windows just learns which networks you prefer and manages everything for you," Anders said.   Integrating mobile broadband   Anders said Microsoft is making things simpler and more intuitive by fully integrating mobile broadband into Windows 8.   "When you’re ready to connect to a mobile broadband network, you simply insert your mobile broadband device or SIM card into your Windows 8 PC and we take care of the setup," he said.   He said Windows 8 has native support for a carrier-unlocked mobile broadband device that supports carrier switching, including most mobile broadband users outside the US.   Such native support allows a user to select and connect to any supported carrier from within the Windows UI.   On the other hand, if a user bought and activated a data plan along with a SIM or mobile broadband device, "all you need to do is connect to the network and we get out of the way, allowing you to do what you want to do."   A user who has not done so can click the “Connect” button for the mobile operator he or she wants, "and we automatically direct you to their mobile broadband app or website, where you can select a data plan (for example, a time-based, limit-based, or subscription-based plan)."   Show usage details, costs   Anders said Windows 8 identifies the mobile broadband subscriber information, looks up the mobile operator in the new Access Point Name (APN) database, and pre-provisions the system to connect to the operator’s network.   "The operator’s mobile broadband app is available via the 'View my account' link, or from the app’s tile on the Start screen. Here, you can see how much data you’ve used, pay your bill, manage your account, and get customer support," Anders said.   Anders also said Windows 8 also takes the cost of the network into consideration.   "(W)e automatically disconnect from mobile broadband and connect you to your preferred Wi-Fi networks whenever they’re available. This reduces your data usage on mobile broadband when possible," he said.   Adjusting Windows Update download behavior   Anders said they are also optimizing bandwidth usage by changing the Windows Update download behavior.   "For a majority of users, who have turned on automatic updating, Windows Update will defer the background download of all updates until you connect to a non-metered network, such as your home broadband connection," he said.   But he said the only exception is in the case of a critical security update to fix a worm-like vulnerability (such as a Blaster worm).   In that case, Windows Update will download the update regardless of the network type. — TJD, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • US ambassador slashed in Seoul attack
    US ambassador slashed in Seoul attack

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on his face and arm by a blade-wielding assailant shouting anti-war slogans in an attack in Seoul Thursday, police and reports said. The United States strongly condemned the "act of violence" which left the ambassador bleeding profusely as he was rushed to hospital, and said that President Barack Obama had spoken with him. "The President called (Lippert) to tell him that he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options