A new Microsoft patent should stop laptop thieves

Microsoft recently filed a new patent that should prevent thieves from stealing your laptop. It will use a technology that will use emergency calls even without a SIM card. This technology should allow you to disable the stolen device from anywhere, no matter if the laptop has cellular connectivity or not.

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Here is the brief summary of the patent:

At least some embodiments described herein relate to the restricted use of a cellular network to facilitate disablement of a device that is suspected lost or stolen. Accordingly, even if the device is not capable of general use of the cellular network (e.g., due to a physical authentication module, such as a subscriber identity module, being absent and/or due to a software restriction on cellular network access), disablement communications are still permitted across the cellular network. Accordingly, the device may receive a disable command from the disablement service over the cellular network, and acknowledge processing of the disable command to the disablement service also over the cellular network. Thus, efforts by an unauthorized possessor of the device to prevent disablement by removing the physical authentication module are thwarted. Likewise, turning the cellular service off using software settings at the device also does not prevent the device from being disabled via cellular network communication.

Microsoft plans to use “always-connected PCs” technology on laptops too. Consumers won’t need any cellular service to be able to use this technology. It will use an “emergency call” feature that allows you to make an emergency call to a specific number even without a SIM card.

This patent should further improve protection for your mobile devices, but it comes with a price. With this technology, your device can be tracked even though you won’t be connected to any cellular network.

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