16 June 2010

Starbucks, Yahoo Partner Over Free WiFi

Individuals who tend to both tote laptops and drink lots of coffee will have reason to think better of Starbucks and Yahoo in coming months.  Starbucks intends to provide free WiFi in all of its stores, and then a partnership with Yahoo should result in the creation of a unique "Starbucks Digital Network."

The first part of this plan will go into effect on July 1st.  Starbucks has promised that, starting that Thursday, there will be easy-to-access WiFi with no strings attached.  Forget about hourly beverage purchases, obtaining a Starbucks card, or facing a time limit, in other words.

The Starbucks Digital Network will follow later, launching sometime this fall.  It sounds impressive, too, with some genuine perks available to balance out whatever promotional stuff is also present.

An official announcement on the subject indicated, "This online experience . . . will be unique in its content offerings, allowing customers free unrestricted access to various paid sites and services such as wsj.com, exclusive content and previews, free downloads, local community news and activities, on their laptops, tablets or smart phones."

Yahoo's last (and still ongoing) big to-do involving free WiFi benefited visitors to New York's Times Square.
By Doug Caverly

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