Managing paid WiFi connections, and sorting out the payments, can get to be a pain if you regularly need to log in to various Wi-Fi services to get connected, and Microsoft has been running a service, Skype WiFi, to help make that process easier. Now, and seemingly just in time for Windows 10, it appears that Microsoft is getting ready to launch a newly rebranded, more comprehensive service called Microsoft WiFi.
We’ve been hearing rumblings about the service for the last month or so, but today the wraps came off (briefly, the page has been taken down) a web page on the Office 365 for Enterprise site touting “Microsoft Wi-Fi for Business”. Paul Thurrott put together a good recap of what to expect from Microsoft Wi-Fi based on what we know of Skype Wi-Fi already, and the information briefly flashed up on the www.microsoftwifi.com page:
- There are versions for individuals and businesses.
- It’s not about free Wi-Fi, and it’s not a subscription.
- Microsoft Wi-Fi claims a database of (10 million) hotspots.
- You’ll be able to find the nearest compatible Wi-Fi hotspots on an interactive map.
- Microsoft will sell Microsoft Wi-Fi cards so you can top off your account or buy access for friends and family.
- A new perk for Office 365 Enterprise
In February, Microsoft partnered with a 3rd party provider of a similar service, IPass, to allow Microsoft account connections to that service, and although it’s unclear if there will be any further connections to 3rd party services.
When asked about the new Microsoft Wi-Fi service, a Microsoft spokesperson told WinBeta.org:
“We can confirm that we are working on a new service, called Microsoft Wi-Fi, that will bring hassle-free Wi-Fi to millions. We look forward to sharing additional detail when available.”
Opening up Skype Wi-Fi to a wider audience with Microsoft branding and the power of the Windows 10 launch marketing campaign behind it is a great idea, but we’ll be interested to see if Microsoft goes farther than that, perhaps discounting Wi-Fi services for Windows 10 and/or Office 365 users. Stay tuned to WinBeta.org for all the latest on Microsoft Wi-Fi and Windows 10!