Previously customers had to pay for Internet access in two-hour increments through their Starbucks cards, but those days are almost gone, baby, gone, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced at the Wired Business Conference yesterday.
This is just another step in Starbucks' longstanding quest for world domination, which has been hindered in recent years by the recession and the rise of McDonald's McCafé, which offers similar coffee products for much less money. Starting in the fall, Schultz promised, the coffee giant will launch the Starbucks Digital Network in partnership with Yahoo!
According to Starbucks' web site,
The Starbucks Digital Network will offer you free access to exclusive content, community news and local volunteer opportunities on your laptop, tablet or smart phone. And it will only be available in our stores
We've teamed up with Yahoo! and a growing list of premium content partners, including the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Zagat, to enrich your coffeehouse experience with interesting news and entertainment cultivated for you.
It should be noted that most local coffeehouses already offer free Wi-Fi.
In other news, Starbucks' bathrooms are still free for all.