Is Free Wifi Enough to Entice You to Check Out Windows 8?

Stop laughing.

Among the locations: Six subway stations. (Photo:

Quick question: What would Microsoft (MSFT) have to offer to get you interested in Windows 8? Would free Wifi perhaps do the trick?

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Starting now until the end of the year–i.e., all the way through the holiday shopping season–Microsoft will be sponsoring free Wifi access at several locations around town, via Boingo Wireless. (San Francisco is getting the same treatment.) The program is already up and running in each of Manhattan’s six wired subway stations, and it’ll be extended to more than 200 unspecified hotspots across the island starting November 1. 

Those of us in the outer boroughs are, as per the usual, Wifi-less.

What’s behind such generosity? Well, it’s not a sudden desire on Steve Ballmer’s part to play Santa. The press release basically admits the free Wifi gambit is a naked attempt to attract developers! developers! developers! to the platform:

“At Microsoft, we know that amazing apps are being built in New York and San Francisco, and we want to give talented developers the chance to launch their businesses through the Windows Store,” said John Richards, Senior Director at Microsoft Corp. “We hope our Boingo Wi-Fi sponsorship will introduce the Windows 8 opportunity to app builders in NYC and San Francisco, while providing folks with Wi-Fi connectivity on-the-go.”

Well, developers? Are you not enticed?

Is Free Wifi Enough to Entice You to Check Out Windows 8?