[NYT] Microsoft and *$ Plan Coffeehouse Web Access

From: Adam Rifkin (adam@KnowNow.com)
Date: Thu Jan 04 2001 - 02:53:36 PST

There's nothing like a decent Internet cafe. And I get the impression
that this will be nothing like a decent Internet cafe...

"There is barely enough room to breathe, let alone sit down and
play on the Internet." I hear ya, buddy...

Bonus points to the person who can name the below ballpark. Is it
Safeco Field or 3Com Stadium?

> Starbucks and Microsoft Plan Coffeehouse Web Access
> http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/04/technology/04STAR.html
> January 4, 2001
> The Starbucks Coffee Company and the Microsoft Corporation said
> yesterday that they would join forces to offer wireless access to
> the Internet from Starbucks coffeehouses.
> The companies said they would work with the MobileStar Network
> Corporation of Richardson, Tex., which has already begun installing
> high-speed wireless connections in hotels and airports, catering to
> business travelers using e-mail and the World Wide Web.
> Starbucks, the nation's largest coffee chain, said the service
> would be available in about 70 percent of its 4,000 stores in one
> to two years.
> Howard Schultz, the company's chairman, said wireless Internet
> access would be "dead-on with the changing lifestyle of our
> customers," even if it would encourage a sort of high-technology
> loitering.
> "I don't think we do business based on table turns," he said.
> "Each day we have 14 million customers who visit us at different
> times of the day, doing different things. Increasingly I'm seeing
> many of our customers using their PC's at our stores for work,
> study and enjoyment."
> The arrangement will enable customers, for a fee, to connect to
> the Internet from a laptop computer or other device equipped to
> handle wireless data. In addition, Microsoft will create content
> and services through MSN, its online service, catering to Starbucks
> customers.
> Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, would not provide
> specifics but suggested that the features might include the ability
> to place orders remotely over the Internet and pick them up at a
> store.
> The alliance will be a proving ground for Microsoft's new Internet
> strategy, which it calls .Net, moving the company away from its
> desktop computer business by offering a series of services
> distributed and managed through the Internet.
> The deal also gives added momentum to a wireless data networking
> standard popularized by Apple Computer over the last two years. The
> standard, which uses the 2.4-gigahertz radio band, permits
> inexpensive PC and hand-held devices to communicate at speeds of up
> to 11 megabits roughly equivalent to the Ethernet networking
> standard.
> In addition to its office and home use, the standard, known as
> 802.11b, is springing up in airline terminals, hotel lobbies and at
> least one ballpark. Because it requires no license, enthusiasts are
> also using it to deploy inexpensive wireless networks in city
> neighborhoods.
> As a result the standard poses a David-vs.-Goliath challenge to
> the large cellular telecommunications providers, which plan their
> own digital wireless networking offerings nationwide using other
> technologies.
> Starbucks is not alone in looking at in-store wireless networks to
> build customer relationships and to market to visitors on premises.
> McDonald's is also exploring an ambitious wireless data network,
> according to Dewayne Hendricks, a wireless industry consultant at
> the Dandin Group in Fremont, Calif.
> But he said he was not certain that PC's were the perfect match
> for Starbucks. "I don't see how this is going to work at most
> Starbucks I've been at," Mr. Hendricks said in an e- mail message.
> "There is barely enough room to breathe, let alone sit down and
> play on the Internet."


There's nothing like looking somebody eyeball-to-eyeball when you're selling them something. The first question they ask is, "Who are your other customers?" That's when you've got to look them in the eye and say, "That's the good news. You're going to be our first." -- Keith Krach, CEO of Ariba

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 27 2001 - 23:17:57 PDT