I’ve spent my own share of time criticizing Microsoft for their buggy software and unethical business practices, but I’ve got to give them kudos for this move. They are exchanging free (1-time use) WiFi service for just a single search on Bing, their new search engine. Pretty smart.
The goal is to get more people familiar with Bing and hopefully get them using it. The Bing team is working with JiWire which works with 60-70% of the WiFi market for airlines and hotels.
This is probably going to cost MS some dough, but they have it and it can potentially reap significant rewards. However, they’ll need to keep running creative ad programs like this if they want to really dent Google’s market share in search.