If you’ve been keeping tabs on the comings and doings at the Microsoft Store, you may have noticed the appearance of a mysterious new app called “The Cellular Data App.” According to the description, this app will require the use of a Microsoft SIM card, and that no contract will be required. At the time of this writing, Microsoft has no SIM card, although the company says it has one in development. They have not, however, at this point, offered any details about the new product, including when it may be available to the general public for purchase.
It’s an interesting move, and hints at a couple of new strategic directions the company may be headed. The most obvious purpose for the new app and card is the prospect of creating mobile virtual networks that could tie Windows mobile devices together in a way that has never been done before.
The fact that no contracts will be required, at least as things stand now, means that Microsoft will have to develop its own network of service providers. Given the size of the company, it’s probable that if this is the route they choose to go, they’ll be able to negotiate excellent rates, and thus, keep monthly costs low.
This is a bold, new direction for Microsoft, which has been making a number of exciting and innovative moves lately, not the least of which has been their decision to give away copies of Windows 10 in order to speed the growth of its market share. Combining that move with the sudden appearance of “The Cellular Data App,” and we can clearly see the company positioning itself to enter the wireless data market in a big way. The implications are both staggering and exciting. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how it unfolds, because Microsoft is playing close to the vest on this one, but early indications are that this is going to be a very good thing.