Skype to Offer Free Wifi in Over 50 U.S. Airports This Holiday Season


A few years ago, Google teamed up with a number of airports in the U.S. to provide travelers with free WiFi during the holidays. This year, it's Skype's turn to make a similar offer. From December 21st thru December 27th, Skype (and, by extension, Microsoft), will offer free access to third-party WiFi hotspots through its Skype WiFi program in over 50 airports all across the U.S. Given that you have to use either Skype for Windows or Mac, or the Skype WiFi app for iOS, this is obviously also a promotion for this service, which the company introduced a few months ago.

This promotion includes virtually all of the major U.S. airports (and quite a few smaller ones) that don't currently offer free WiFi.

Skype's offer is obviously less generous than Google's past promotions (which was valid until January 15th), but if you are traveling during the holidays, now is probably a good time to install Skype's WiFi app on your laptop or iOS device.

Outside of this promotion, Skype WiFi can be a good option if you find yourself in need for a quick Internet fix, but don't need a full hour to just download your email, for example. Prices start at $0.06 per minute, though the app will provide you with the exact pricing depending on whose WiFi network you are using and where you are.

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Bing Maps for Mobile Goes Indoors With Mall and Airport Maps


Bing Maps, Microsoft’s often underrated mapping product added yet another feature to its line-up today: indoor maps for Bing Maps for Mobile on iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. Bing Maps for the desktop already included this feature since December and the “Mango” update for Windows Phone also includes this functionality in its native maps app. Now, however, even more users will be able to use this feature, which also gives Bing another feature that Google Maps doesn’t yet offer.

clip_image008Bing’s indoor maps are available for about 400 shopping malls and a number of airports in the U.S.  The service includes some nifty features such as the ability to switch between different levels in big malls.

Microsoft also made it easier for users to find these maps. Just search Bing or Bing Maps for the name of the mall and click on the “Mall Map” link that now graces the bottom left corner of the screen when an indoor map is available.

It looks like Microsoft developed these maps itself, but it is worth noting that there are also a number of other companies that offer indoor mapping services. Micello, for example, just launched and API for indoor maps that other developers can add to their apps and Point Inside has long offered apps with indoor maps for malls and airports (including some international ones).

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