Posts Tagged ‘the cloud’
Microsoft have teamed-up with The Cloud to offer unlimited free WiFi at a number of railway stations across the UK, which will hopefully lower a few mobile and tablet bills.
There’ll be no restrictions on how much data you transfer and you’ll be able to surf for as long as you please, which is a huge improvement on the cruddy services which ask for payment details or give you 15 minute slots.
Basically, The Cloud are able to remove time limits because the non-restricted service is being sponsored by Microsoft as they try and push Office 365.
“This campaign is designed to help commuters tap into new ways of working. The mobile workforce is constantly growing and, as such, so is the need to access mobile internet,” says Phillipa Snare, chief marketing officer at Microsoft’s UK division. “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 Wi-Fi is to ensure users are able to work from anywhere – in the office, at home and in between.”
There’s no word on which stations will be getting this service as yet, other than it will cover “selected Network Rail stations.”
Vince Russell, The Cloud’s managing director, said “In sponsoring free WiFi at these stations, Microsoft is supporting the modern, mobile worker and ultimately helping boost productivity in UK businesses.”
Download things from torrents at train stations and see how many letters they get telling them off for misuse.
Cloud gaming, yeah? That’s where it’s at these days, with OnLive leading the way. In case you haven’t got a sodding clue what we’re on about, it’s a new way of playing games with everything stored in ‘the cloud’ and streamed to your computer or OnLive console box thingy.
There’s various ways of paying for OnLive – you can try them for few days, buy them outright or pay monthly for a package of games. Now there’s some added fuss as they’ve launched an app, allowing you to play games wherever you are on your mobile device (as long as you’ve got a decent internet connection).
Some games, including LA Noire, will have bespoke touchscreen controls created by their developers, taking advantage of features like the accelerometer. Meanwhile, others will use OnLive’s own ‘vPad’ on-screen controls. The tablet apps will also be compatible with a new wireless controller which is being sold for £39.99. At the launch of the app, 25 games will be touchscreen-controllable while the rest of OnLive’s 200-games catalogue for tablets will work with the controller.
The app is in the Android Market now and an iOS version is ready, pending Apple’s approval. So the hardware’s cheaper than an Xbox or a PS3 and the ability to play anywhere is there. So what’s the catch? Are you an OnLive user? Give us the lowdown on it…
BT Openzone are rolling out wifi everywhere they can squeeze it in at the moment, and a new deal will see it dispensed from cash machines along with your reddies. The Register reports they’ve struck a deal with Cashbox, those folks that supply stand-alone machines in shops, bars and neighbourhoods where carrying a wallet isn’t an option you’d naturally consider.
These cashpoints already have a broadband connection to handle customer transactions, so carrying data from wifi customers is no great technical feat. A trial involving ten cash machines will initially take place before both companies look to roll out the service to over 2,000 sites across the country.
BT is fast becoming a dominant player in providing wifi access in the UK; a recent deal with Starbucks replacing T-Mobile sews up over 650 locations and any business with a BT business hub can offer wifi to customers, for free or by selling access, plus BT Openzone already provide blanket coverage in a dozen cities as well as partnering several major UK businesses.
But with the likes of 3G access becoming prevalent on smartphones and the popularity of broadband dongles for laptops, why is BT so keen to roll out wifi across the nation? Wouldn’t they be better playing to their strengths and providing digital technology for home customers? Perhaps not; maybe the likes of BT are playing a long-game that will in time provide a rich revenue stream – not from consumers (although the cost of BT Openzone access is still outrageously steep), but from mobile service operators.
As 3G usage by smartphones and laptops increases, service providers may struggle to cope with demand – shifting some of that usage to wifi would help relieve the strain. The likes of O2′s deal with BT Openzone to allow unlimited wifi access for iPhone owners is presented as a perk for the consumer, but given how data-rich the iPhone experience is, it no doubt helps out O2 as well.
£22 billion was shelled out by operators when the 3G spectrum was auctioned off in 2000, and there’s likely to be a shake-up of spectrum and further auctions next year. If the likes of O2 and other operators can count on reliable wifi coverage across the majority of the population, that would significantly alter their strategy for delivering data services, and may mean using BT Openzone becoming an everyday occurrence for consumers.