Starbucks…Come Back, Mobile Users. Free WiFi

starbucks2.jpgI’ve long used Starbucks as my personal office. There’s food. A desk. That’s all I need to get things done (it’s miserable for web conferences though). I’ve also used McDonald’s from time to time, which is nice, but Starbucks has better ambiance.
Now there’s more reasons to use Starbucks – free WiFi. Unless you carry around a mobile hotspot (like I do) or a broadband wireless card (like I do) you’ll need WiFi to not pay costly fee based WiFi Charges.
The Associated Press writes Starbucks Corp. will begin offering unlimited free wireless Internet access at all company-operated U.S. locations starting July 1, part of an ongoing effort to bring more customers in the door.

The Wi-Fi access, which will eventually include a new network of news and entertainment content exclusively for customers, comes as Starbucks works to take business back from rivals like McDonald’s Corp. and independent cafes that have long offered free Internet.
The cafe chain, which recorded its first quarterly increase in customers in 13 quarters earlier this year, had previously offered two free hours of Web access each day to registered customers.
On average, laptop users spend about an hour using the wireless Internet in Starbucks stores while mobile phone users who can use Wi-Fi spend about 15 minutes on the network.
After the two-hour window, consumers at the Seattle chain were charged $3.99 for two additional hours.