Windows 8 will contain built-in support for mobile broadband devices and smarter use of metered Internet connections, as detailed in the lastest post on Microsoft’s Building Windows 8 blog.
Most 3G mobile broadband connections are subject to usage limits, and keeping track of data usage at the moment normally means running an application from the mobile operator, or even checking on their website. Windows 8 will have its own usage counters so that users can keep track of how much data they’ve burned through over the current billing cycle.
Applications will also be able to treat metered connections differently from unlimited ones. For example, a Flickr front-end might stick to low-resolution preview images when on a mobile broadband connection, fetching high-resolution images only when on an unmetered connection. Application bandwidth usage will also be shown in Task Manager, with separate counters for metered and unmetered usage.
The blog post also demonstrates Windows 8’s faster Wi-Fi connectivity, with hot spots being found and connected to in under a second, and its new support for Wi-Fi hotspots that use authentication portals. Instead of having to open a browser to enter a username and password, it will be possible to type credentials directly into Windows itself.