The vast majority of us have experienced some form of transport delay – from cancelled trains to the overcrowded rush hour tube which can’t possibly fit another passenger inside. The automatic distraction is often to turn to our smart devices, checking e-mails and tweeting angrily about our travel misfortune. BSkyB-owned public WiFi service The Cloud currently offers 15 minutes of free internet access to users traversing a selection of UK stations, however, its new collaboration with Microsoft brings with it some fantastic news which will relieve commuters from worrying about their mobile data usage.
For one month, Microsoft and The Cloud will be providing unrestricted WiFi access to a number of Network Rail stations, plus branded landing pages for WiFi users in First Great Western, London Overground and Greater Anglia stations. This welcome offering comes as part of Microsoft’s multi-million pound marketing strategy to promote Office 365, a business-oriented subscription service which allows users to access Microsoft Office services from anywhere.
Until April 24th, passengers can whip out their laptops, tablets and WiFi enabled mobile phones for as long as they like, meaning that there will be no more frustration over dwindling network signals or costly access fees. The Cloud will maintain its customary display of Sky News, with the additional feature of a button which directs users towards information about Office 365. As a huge portion of WiFi accessing rail passengers will inevitably be corporate figures, the Microsoft marketing department have cleverly given their product an elevated presence amongst its key audiences.
Microsoft UK’s chief marketing officer, Philippa Snare, said: “Having free WiFi available is key to this because it enables people to get online quickly and easily as they travel. Simply put, our aim in sponsoring unlimited free WiFi is to ensure users are able to work from anywhere – in the office, at home and in between.”
The Cloud’s MD Vince Russell also commented on Office 365’s ability to take online access “to the next level”, stating that: : “We’re delighted to include our rail WiFi venues within this group. In sponsoring free WiFi at these stations, Microsoft is supporting the modern, mobile worker and ultimately helping boost productivity in UK businesses.”