Barnes & Noble rolls out free Wi-Fi


Wow, a marketing campaign that actually benefits the rest of us? Yes, it's true, courtesy of bookstore monolith Barnes & Noble. B&N just announced that it's offering free Wi-Fi in all its stores. The chain has offered pay-per-use hotspots in collaboration with AT&T since 2005; now, customers can access the Internet without a charge with an appropriately equipped laptop, smart phone or other wireless device.

Of course, the chain's not letting you go online on its dime just to be nice; rather, it's promoting the instant-gratification factor of its e-book library, which you access by downloading. In other words, when you go to the store to buy that hot bestseller and it's sold out, Barnes & Noble wants you to download it from them on the spot rather than go to another brick-and-mortar store to purchase it.