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Microsoft Wi-Fi to be given away with Office 365 accounts

Skype Wi-Fi

Skype Wi-Fi to be rebranded as Microsoft revamps hotspot service

Skype Wi-Fi is to be rebranded Microsoft Wi-Fi and given away with selected Office 365 susbcriptions, according to reports. Skype Wi-Fi currently offers a network of more than 2 million hotspots worldwide, many of which are shared deals with alternative hotspot providers, such as The Cloud and BT Openzone.

Skype users can pay for access to the hotspot using their Skype credit, saving them from having to go through the rigmarole of entering credit card details at individual hotspots. Reports suggest that Microsoft will continue to offer such arrangements under the rebranded name. 

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However, Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott reports that the company also plans to give Office 365 Enterprise subscribers free access to its hotspot network, providing another perk for business users. Customers will also be able to pay for Wi-Fi via pre-paid cards.

Microsoft Wi-Fi apps will be released for all of the major mobile and desktop platforms, allowing users to locate their nearest hotspot and automatically sign in when within range. The company has already set up a Microsoft Wi-Fi website, but it simply bears a Coming Soon message at the time of publication. 

Access to Wi-Fi hotspots has become more critical for laptop and tablet users in recent years, as mobile networks have gradually phased out tethering from all but their most expensive tariffs. Free access to Wi-Fi hotspots has also become a bundled extra from broadband providers such as BT, which allows its customers to connect to both public hotspots and the routers of other BT broadband customers.  

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