Main | Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Starbucks Caves On Free Wi-Fi

Bowing to the pressure of McDonald's free WiFi, Starbucks will end their pay-to-surf program at the end of the month.
Starting July 1, Starbucks will let anyone connect to its WiFi network for free. This fall, the company will add a content network called Starbucks Digital Network, in partnership with Yahoo and other sites, which will include local content you won’t be able to read anywhere else. Both offerings will be free. “Free Wi-Fi is in my mind just the price of admission — we want to create … new sources of content that you can only get at Starbucks,” chairman and president and CEO Howard Schulz told the Wired Business Conference. “This is a thing that doesn’t exist in any other consumer marketplace in America.”
Customers will still have to log-in using a unique Starbucks identifier, meaning the company will be able to make big bucks creating targeted advertising. One small bonus: you'll be able to read the Wall Street Journal for free while in the store.

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