Microsoft Surface Wi-Fi Only? Easy Workaround...

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Tom Keating
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Microsoft Surface Wi-Fi Only? Easy Workaround...

Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft Surface will initially be Wi-Fi only. I can hear the wailing of Microsoft Surface fans "No! Why? No 4G?" cry_smile while Apple iPad fans smirk and laugh at you for even considering abandoning the mighty iPad.

So why no 3G/4G wireless for Microsoft SurfacE? Well, Microsoft would have had to negotiate with wireless carriers prior to the super secret Surface announcement, which would have likely caused info about the device to leak and taken away all the buzz from their big announcement.

Further, the cost of the Microsoft Surface is already more than an iPad so adding 3G/4G wireless would have added even more to the cost. Of course, carriers could subsidize some of the cost if they lock you into a multi-year plan.

at-t-usbconnect-4g-usb.pngBut don't worry Microsoft Surface fans! The Surface comes with USB and it runs Windows 8, so you can insert an AT&T USBConnect Mercury 3G card or even the newer AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G card (pic right) and the drivers should load just fine. Verizon also offers USB wireless devices as well as their MiFi mobile hotspot devices which bridges Wi-Fi-to-3G on Verizon's wireless network. Personally, I've become less and less of a fan of embedded 3G/4G for the following reasons:
  • You pay a premium for embedded 3G/4G
  • Device obsolescence. If you upgrade in 2-3 years you once again have to pay for embedded 3G/4G
  • Can't easily share the 3G/4G connection with family members. Example: You're driving in a car with your kids all on their own devices. They can't connect over your embedded 3G/4G connection. That's why I like the Verizon Mi-Fi Wi-Fi hotspot, since you can easily share the connection with family members.

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