Microsoft and iPass have come to an agreement to provide iPass Wi-Fi service to select Microsoft users. iPass is the world’s largest commercial Wi-Fi network with over 18 million hotspots around the world. Users of iPass can access Wi-Fi internet in many airports, hotels, and during many flights.
In a press release, iPass President and CEO used a phrase that lines up with Microsoft’s cloud first mission statement "I am thrilled that our unique collaboration with Microsoft opens the door for a wider audience of mobile, cloud and Wi-Fi first customers to reap the benefits of expanded connectivity” (emphasis added). Cloud first and mobile first are the calling card for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, so the partnership with iPass seems quite natural.
In what looks to be a well-made and tightly knit partnership, eligible Microsoft customers do not need to use a new set of credentials.
"Eligible Microsoft customers will be able to use their existing Microsoft service credentials to automatically gain access to iPass’ global Wi-Fi network without providing credit card information to unknown Wi-Fi providers in remote locations.”
iPass and Microsoft are still ironing out details of who exactly will be "eligible customers." When contacted, they clarified that the deal with Microsoft is done but that full details will be worked out in the future.
Wi-fi access while traveling is essential for people in and out of the business world and having to sign up and register for different companies, and servers can be a hassle. Dongles, hotspots, and LTE-enabled devices are travel options as well, but they are not always usable for international travel due to roaming charges. Also, Wi-Fi through services such as iPass is often the only way to receive access to the Internet during flights.