Regular readers will know we are quite concerned by the lack of support for 3G Dongles in the Microsoft Surface and by extension other Windows RT tablets. While 3G/WI-Fi dongles provide somewhat of a solution, it seems unnecessary to waste battery life on running two WIFI radios when communication could as easily happen via USB. The big issue with using existing 3G dongles is that they need drivers and management software installed, which makes all of the current crop incompatible. Now it seems, from a twitter conversation with O2 support, that O2 may be working on a Connection Manager for Windows RT, which would solve the problem and fulfil one of the major expandability promises of the Surface- the ability to overcome any issues by simply plugging in an accessory into the USB port. See the twitter conversation here. ...

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We have ranted in the past about the absence of a compatible 3G dongle for the Microsoft Surface. Now a potential solution has popped up. At the time many said to simply use a MIFI-type WIFI hotspot, which does not really address the issues of bulk and having to keep two gadgets charged, not to mention being rather inelegant. The Huawei E355 Mobile Wi-Fi Smart 3G dongle however seems to solve those two issues pretty well. Much smaller than the average MIFI-type device due to not needing a battery, the dongle is USB powered while still providing the internet access over WIFI, meaning no software needs to be installed on the device (a sore point for a Windows RT). The dongle supports connection by up to 5 devices, supports HSDPA+ and  comes pre-loaded with settings for UK Pre and Post-paid networks, which can also be added to via their web-based ...

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For a sophisticated user tethering a Microsoft Surface tablet to a WIFI hotspot or phone is pretty simple. For everyone else however there are multiple obstacles, including needing to keep two devices charged, not having tethering on your data plan and of course draining your phone battery when using your Surface. In theory the perfect solution is a USB 3G dongle or stick. Unfortunately WindowsRT devices like the Surface can not install desktop software, and it seems all of the USB dongles need their own drivers and apps installed to make them go. As Vodafone writes: Windows 8 contains a driver for devices that use the NDIS 6.3 interface. The first Vodafone USB Sticks with NDIS 6.3 will be the K4305 and K4305-Z. For all other devices, it is necessary to install Vodafone Mobile Broadband 10 to get the driver. This would be all fine and good, but it seems ...

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