Microsoft: Windows 8 built with eye to mobility

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Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) says it will be easier to manage Wi-Fi and 3G/4G wireless connections with Windows 8 than with past iterations of the operating system. According to company officials, the newest version has been designed with an eye to mobility.

With Windows 7, users have been able to link to mobile broadband networks but they have had to track down and install the necessary drivers and software, notes Juan Carlos Perez of IDG News Service. With Windows 8, there will be a common driver that is compatible with technology from a range of wireless carriers and manufacturers.

Wi-Fi users running Windows have also had a tendency to run into trouble, including problems with third-party software, notes Lance Whitney in a post at CNET. Windows 8 will provide a network settings panel that lets users manage Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile broadband all at once. What's more, the newest version of the OS will try to learn from the user, figuring out which networks are used most often and making Wi-Fi a priority over mobile broadband; and then prioritizing the available hotspots according to the user's behavior.

"To make sure we connect to the right network when multiple networks are available, Windows maintains an ordered list of your preferred networks based on your explicit connect and disconnect actions, as well as the network type," explains Microsoft group program manager Billy Anders in post on the Building Windows 8 blog. "For example, if you manually disconnect from a network, Windows will no longer automatically connect to that network. If, while connected to one network, you decide to connect to a different network, Windows will move the new network higher in your preferred networks list."

For more:
- see Building Windows 8 blog post
- see Juan Carlos Perez's article at Network World
- see Lance Whitney's post at CNET

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