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Networking

Windows 10: Microsoft to release SIM card to help users stay online

Windows Store app reveals Microsoft's plans to make it easier to keep Windows 10 connected on the move.

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The Cellular Data app.
Image: Microsoft
Microsoft is looking to make it easier to get online when using Windows 10 on the move by releasing its own SIM card.

The company has published a Windows Store app that will let users connect to a "nationwide" mobile network using an, as yet unreleased, Microsoft SIM card. However it is not clear in which countries the service will operate.

The Cellular Data app will allow Windows 10 users to buy plans that allow them to download data up to a predefined limit.

This data allowance will be tied to each user's Microsoft account and will be able to be topped up as needed, without the need for a fixed contract.

"Now you can buy and use mobile data at your own convenience," it says in the app description, which states the service will initially be available for use domestically, with support for international roaming to be added later.

Microsoft is yet to release the SIM card or data service mentioned in the app description, and a spokesman said the firm wasn't commenting on its plans at this stage.

Windows 10 is built around services that require network connectivity, from the virtual assistant Cortana to OneDrive cloud storage, in addition to the Windows Store for downloading apps.

Microsoft also relies on the OS being able to send back user data in order to personalise these services, for instance to improve Cortana's voice recognition.

This data collection has attracted criticism in some quarters for being too intrusive and for mostly being enabled by default. Most recently concerns were raised about the extent of the information being gathered, after Microsoft published a blog in which it listed the number of minutes users had spent browsing the web and how many questions had been asked of Cortana.

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Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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