Microsoft Corporation, is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services. Its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface tablet lineup. As of 2016, it is the world’s largest software maker by revenue, and one of the world’s most valuable companies.
The documents describes functionality which would bring the devices in line with the smartphones, which user’s may remotely disable and wipe in order to prevent thieves from re-selling them. Microsoft has filed a new patent designed to discourage potential laptop thieves. Microsoft’s patent shows a similar system for laptop which remain a popular target for thieves. User would be able to remotely disable a stolen laptop in much the same way, which should lead in reduction of accidents related to laptop stealing.
The functionality laid down in the patent which was first mentioned by MSPOWERUSER, appears to be planned extension of the company’s recently revealed vision for “ always-connected” PCs. Microsoft wants computers to be constantly connected to cellular-like smartphones. However, the patent explains that these always connected laptops wouldn’t actually have to be connected to a network to remotely be swiped.
It’s similar to the ”emergency call” functionality on mobile phones, which lets you call specific numbers even if your phone doesn’t have a SIM card inside. “At least some embodiment described herein relate to restricted use of cellular network to facilitate disablement of a device that is suspected lost or stolen.”
If the device is not capable of use of cellular network (due to a physical authentication module, such as subscribers’ identity module, being absent or due to a software restriction on cellular network access, disablement communication are still permitted across the cellular network). Accordingly, the device may receive a disable command from the disablement service also over the network and acknowledge processing of the disabled command to disablement service also over cellular network.
Thus the efforts by an unauthorized processor of the device may prevent disablement by removing the physical authentication module are thwarted. Likewise turning a cellular service focusing software settings at the device also do not prevent the device form being disabled via cellular network communication. Whether or not Microsoft acts on the patent when it would come into effect is still yet to be seen.