Free Holiday Airport WiFi From Google, Microsoft

Fight for market share finds willing fodder in snow-delayed fliers
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2009 2:03 PM CST
A man checks out the arrivals board at Lambert St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis. Now he could be checking his email instead.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – There’s a new public option in town: free wireless from Google for the holidays. The search giant has partnered to provide WiFi gratis in 47 airports nationwide from now until the middle of January; the generosity even extends to in-flight access on continental Virgin flights, PC World reports. Google would probably like to spread its beneficence across the entire nation, but its partnership with the likes of Time Warner and Boingo doesn’t allow universal coverage.

That’s all well and good, but careful readers note that some pretty important national hubs—New York, DC, Chicago—fall outside Google’s range. Enter Microsoft. The software giant and Google nemesis is also in the free-holiday-wireless business, teaming with JiWire to cover an estimated 70% of airports, according to the Atlantic. All you have to do is perform one Bing search for the goodies. Give a hand to the rivals for turning even snow delays into an ad war.