New York City subway stop

Microsoft is about to launch a giant media blitz for Windows 8, and it wants to guarantee that even those of us heads-down in our laptops and smartphones take notice. It's sponsoring Boingo's WiFi, making it free at popular locations in New York City and San Francisco through the holidays to pitch both its new OS and the Windows Store. The San Francisco locations are already active and mostly cover signature locations such as Fisherman's Wharf and Union Square, but Microsoft is going all-out for the New York City campaign starting November 1st: the free WiFi will reach over 200 locations in Manhattan as well as the six NYC subway stations offering underground wireless. While some might not enjoy the hard sell on Windows 8 while they're checking into Foursquare, we'd say it's at least relevant that Microsoft pushes its urban sign UI in the city that was arguably the software's major inspiration.

[Image credit: pspyro2009, Flickr]

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Microsoft Sponsors Free Boingo Wi-Fi in NYC and San Francisco

Free Holiday Wi-Fi Available at Manhattan Subway Stations, NYC and San Francisco Hotzones; Sponsorship Highlights Microsoft's New Windows Store and App Opportunities for Windows 8

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI), the Wi-Fi industry's leading provider of software and services worldwide, announced today that Microsoft is sponsoring free Wi-Fi access at high-traffic New York and San Francisco locations from now through the end of the year. The Wi-Fi sponsorship is part of the launch celebration for Windows 8, and will introduce the new Windows Store for Windows 8 to the app builder community. Consumers can also enjoy browsing great new apps in the Windows Store, view staff recommendations and get personalized picks based on apps they may already use.

As part of the holiday promotion, Microsoft's sponsored Wi-Fi is immediately available for users of all Wi-Fi enabled devices in six Manhattan subway stations, supported by Transit Wireless' state-of-the-art network, and across Wi-Fi hotzones covering iconic San Francisco locations including Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, UN Plaza, the Financial District, Nob Hill and more. Microsoft will also sponsor Wi-Fi via more than 200 Manhattan hotzones, starting November 1. The Wi-Fi hotspots are part of Boingo's Cloud Nine media platform, a global advertising network that enables brand advertisers to reach target audiences through high engagement Wi-Fi sponsorship.

"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."

"Microsoft's sponsorship of Wi-Fi in New York and San Francisco is a testament to the targeted reach and deep engagement Boingo's Cloud Nine advertising network delivers," said Dawn Callahan, vice president of consumer marketing for Boingo Wireless. "Our Wi-Fi sponsorships deliver meaningful advertiser content to key consumer audiences, help partner venues meet their revenue needs, and keep people connected from subway station to city center."

"New York is always bustling during the holidays, and Microsoft's sponsorship of Boingo Wi-Fi on the Transit Wireless subway wireless network will help straphangers stay connected," said Jerry Page, MTA director of strategic initiatives. "We've received positive feedback from our subway riders on Boingo's sponsored Wi-Fi, and look forward to having them continue this free service through the holidays."

In addition to the New York subway system and metropolitan hotzones worldwide, the Boingo global advertising network includes more than 70 leading airports, dozens of shopping centers and stadiums, and thousands of hotels, restaurants and recreational areas, accessible to more than 1.5 billion people annually.