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Microsoft, Boingo offer free Wi-Fi in NYC and San Francisco as Windows 8 launch nears

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Wi-Fi logo (STOCK)
Wi-Fi logo (STOCK)

If you're looking to generate positive buzz around a major new product, giving consumers free Wi-Fi typically goes a long way towards achieving that goal. So it should come as no surprise that, as part of its Windows 8 launch media blitz, Microsoft has paired up with Boingo to deliver complimentary wireless networking in New York City and San Francisco. Beginning now and lasting through the end of 2012, the free Wi-Fi is available at six subway stations in New York and across several popular regions of San Francisco.

That network will grow substantially larger starting November 1st when Boingo opens up access to over 200 Wi-Fi "hotzones" in the NYC area. Unlike a similar promotion from Google earlier this year, you'll be able to hop online with any Wi-Fi-enabled device, regardless of whether you're using PC, Mac, iOS, Android, or Windows Phone hardware. Microsoft hopes the free networking will encourage more consumers to browse its upcoming Windows Store for Windows 8, set to arrive as part of the OS on October 26th.