Free Wi-Fi could boost Ultrabooks in business laptop market

Summary:Intel could one-up Apple in the business laptop market thanks to free Wi-Fi on Ultrabooks and tablets.

Anyone who travels frequently, whether it be for business or pleasure, knows the indescribable value of free Wi-Fi connectivity while on the road.

To have that capability built in from the get-go without any entanglements at airports and whatnot would be even more glorious. Just the idea of having free, automatic Wi-Fi on a global basis sounds almost too good to be true -- but it might just be the case for some Ultrabook users.

Intel has inked a deal with Devicescape, as reported by GigaOm, which entails that Intel Ultrabooks and tablets can be built to support access to Devicescape's connection manager technology.

Thus, when a user walks into a location with a Devicescape-powered Wi-Fi hotspot, the supported Ultrabook or tablet will automatically connect to the network for free like it would a user's home network.

Although Ultrabook users won't have complete and universal free Wi-Fi, but they will have access millions of Devicescape's open Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide. Of course, another catch is that Ultrabook OEM partners will need to catch on and integrate Devicescape technology.

But the extra connectivity option on an Ultrabook is considerably more appealing -- especially for business travelers who need reliable and automatic Wi-Fi as much as possible -- when trying to decide between one of these machines and something comparable such as a MacBook Air.

Thus, if lower prices and more design options can't convince consumers to opt for an Ultrabook, maybe free Wi-Fi could be the ticket.


Topics: Tablets


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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