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
    Common Sense, 3 Oct 2008 @ 8:07am

    Blown out of proportion

    Guys, calm down. This is no different than any other rewards/loyalty program that another company uses. MS knows it's losing search, we know it's losing search, and so does every other search provider out there; no one is stating new information.

    What MS is doing is trying to create more activity on it's site so that habit can form. Google has become a verb, thats tough to crack and this is one method for MS to try and break in.

    I am not switching off of google, but I am certainly not upset if MS wants to pay me to search on live. I don't think it will work, but I don't think this is indicative of MS losing their minds or focus. I don't think they will win this battle with google, but overall they are still doing many things right.

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