Microsoft Expands Program To Bribe Users Into Using Its Search

from the when-in-doubt,-bribe-users dept

A few years ago, Bill Gates had indicated that if all else failed in winning over users from Google, Microsoft was prepared to resort to bribing users to use its search engine, rather than the competitors'. Back in May, this plan kicked off for certain product searches, where actual buyers would end up getting cash back. But, that's rather limited to a very specific type of search and very limited results. So, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Microsoft has now opened up a new program, called SearchPerks, which is an attempt to bribe users to use Microsoft's regular search. Of course, the incentive isn't very strong. It only works in Internet Explorer, and you get a tiny number of "points" each time you search, and you need a lot of points to redeem prizes. It's kind of like those silly carnival games, where the amount of effort you need to actually win enough tickets to get anything makes the whole prospect of participating worthless. Unless, of course, you figure out how to game the system, as many users did on Microsoft's earlier attempt. Still, it's rather telling that Microsoft is still resorting to trying to bribe users to use its search engine. Where are all those people who insisted that Microsoft could beat any competitor at will because it was so big, and all it needed to do was copy them? That doesn't seem to be happening in search.
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Filed Under: bribes, search
Companies: microsoft

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2008 @ 1:37am

    More Information Than You Require

    HEY you internet enabled Microsoft employees!

    Did you know John Hodgman is coming out with a new book on the 21st? It's called "More Information Than You Require", a follow up to the legacy "The Areas of My Expertise". Now, Hodgman has set the bar high-- the chapter "The Secrets of the Mall of America" in his first book was insanely funny, and something I pirated around to at least 20 Microsoft Employees, and they told me they would go out and buy the book, which I am sure they did.

    Personally, I bought and gave away at least 10 print copies myself, so don't be a pirate this time! On the 21st, take a long lunch. Pick up the phone and call 3600. Tell them your need to get RTC 4 or something. When they drop you off, there's a bookstore called "Borders" a block away. You'll need to run, as the goal is to rip the book from someone more senior than you. If you are successful, you win 3 internets.

    Can Hodgman continue with his unique style of humor? Only time will tell!

    Can PC => Mac? No idea! Only you can tell. Who will be to the bookstore first? Is it YOU?

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