Major search engines like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and eBay are offering free WiFi hotspots around the nation this holiday season till early next year, at airports, hotels and even in New York's Time Square.
Google announced Tuesday it will offer free WiFi at 47 airports across the nation, starting from today, Nov. 10 until Jan. 15, 2010. The tech giant announced earlier this year a partnership with Virgin America to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi during the same period.
Google is using this service to promote their products. When users logon to Google's free WIFi, they will be asked to try out Google products, set their homepage to Google.com and donate to charities. The company said users have the right to decline.
Not wanting to be left behind, Microsoft's Bing is teaming up with JiWire to offer free WiFi hotspots in airports and hotel. What's the catch? Users will have to make at least one search using Bing search engine. The promotion is part of JiWire’s “Ads for Access” program.
Microsoft did not release a list of participating hotels and airports where the free WiFi service will be offered.
In a bid to take advantage of all the increased number of tourists traveling to the Big Apple during the holiday season, Yahoo said it's providing free WiFi in New York’s Times Square.
The WiFi service - which is available on PCs and mobile devices- will be accessible to over 500,000 people that frequent Times Square on a daily basis.
We and our partners at the Times Square Alliance think it's the perfect place to bring you free WiFi service, the company said in a press statement.
Online auction site, Ebay, has also jumped in to offer free Wi-Fi to users. The service will be made available on domestic flights on Delta airlines during the Thanksgiving travel rush. EBay is using this service to invite travelers to make their holiday purchases on their site.