Friday, November 17, 2006

Microsoft Pushes For CityWide Wi-Fi Networks

Microsoft's Municipal Wi-Fi Push
BusinessWeek, Nov 17

With a foothold in Portland, Ore., the software behemoth is looking to citywide Wi-Fi networks as major future sources of Web traffic and ad revenue
by Olga Kharif
Microsoft (MSFT) is gearing up to conquer the wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) market one city at a time. The software giant's recent deal to provide content and services for a wireless network under construction in Portland, Ore., will intensify the battle between Google, Yahoo! (YHOO), and Microsoft's MSN for online traffic and advertising revenue.
The move by Microsoft to partner with municipal Wi-Fi operator MetroFi is more than just a me-too gesture following Google's (GOOG) decision to build out, together with partner EarthLink (ELNK), a Wi-Fi network in San Francisco. Content providers who capture the growing municipal Wi-Fi market will be in a better position to enjoy higher traffic to their sites and greater customer loyalty—and, as a result, grab a greater share of online advertising dollars, expected to reach $16 billion in the U.S. this year, according to consultancy eMarketer. "It's a battle for eyeballs," says Matt Rosoff, an analyst with consultancy Directions on Microsoft. ...read more: here

11/17/2006 11:13:00 PM

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