The service, much like Skype WiFi, will likely see subscribers pay for the time connected to public hotspots as opposed to being charged a monthly fee. It's not currently known how Microsoft will go about charging those who opt to use the new service, so we'll have to wait until Microsoft official launches the service to learn more.
The company boasts more than 10 million hotspots in the WiFi catalogue, covering 130 countries at supporting airports, hotels, restaurants, among other public spaces. As is the case with Microsoft of today, the company is rolling the new service out on all available platforms, meaning you'll be able to utilize the wide selection of hotspots on your PC and/or iPhone.
For businesses, Microsoft will include Microsoft WiFi in Office 365 Enterprise. For the time being, the service is only currently available to the following:
- Active Skype WiFi subscribers (through the Microsoft Work & Play Bundle or the Surface 2 + Skype WiFi Bundle)
- Employees of organizations with Microsoft Office 365 for Enterprise
- Customers who received a special WiFi offer from Microsoft
It's an early build of the website itself with many elements missing or not currently live, but at least we have an insight into how Microsoft plans to proceed with its public WiFi service. Hopefully we'll learn more once Microsoft officially launches the service.
See the Microsoft WiFi website for more details.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.