Microsoft Back To Trying To Bribe People To Use Bing

from the if,-at-first,-you-don't-succeed... dept

We've discussed in the past how Microsoft's attempt to bribe users to use its search engine -- based on a Bill Gates brainstorm from back in 2005 -- turned out to be a dismal failure, and pointed out how recent research shows how little some companies understand incentives. However, Microsoft is apparently back at it again, creating a somewhat different loyalty rewards program for Bing users. While I'm sure it will appeal to some folks, something about this just makes me think even less of Bing. It makes me wonder: if they need to pay me to use it, is it because they know the experience just isn't as good as the competition?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:18pm

    Mike,

    Bing is a great site and I don't think you know how to use it correctly. You don't look for incentives and payola, you look for results, and we give you the best results.

    What's so hard to understand about that?


    ___________________
    Sent from my Windows 7 ZunePhone Live (PR Release Edition build 302881)
    Raspberry Scented
    WIN A FREE ZunePhone! Visit this link!

     

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    •  
      icon
      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

      Re:

      It's sort of sad that I can't tell if this is a spoof comment or not. Raspberry Scented Zune?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:29pm

        Re: Re:

        That was my thought. Besides, who would try to post a credible comment and brag about being on Windows 7 phone and/or Zune of any flavor?

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:28pm

      Re:

      "Bing is a great site"

      "Sent from my Windows 7 ZunePhone Live (PR Release Edition build 302881) Raspberry Scented"

      "WIN A FREE ZunePhone! Visit this link!"


      Too many red flags (sent to spam folder).

       

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    fluor2 (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

    Sure

    I'm an admin of 1200 users and control the default search engine. Send me a private message and I'll consider moving from Google for a $mall amount.

     

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    visual77 (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:33pm

    IE Only

    "People must first install the Bing Bar toolbar, have a Windows Live ID, be on a Windows machine and use Internet Explorer. No Chrome or Firefox, no Macs."

    Hah... no. I considered checking it out to see what the program was, but if I can't use it on the platform I desire (within limitations, I understand they can't make it work with *everything*), then I'm not going to even try it.

     

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      Derek, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:03pm

      Re: IE Only

      People must first install the Bing Bar toolbar, have a Windows Live ID, be on a Windows machine and use Internet Explorer. No Chrome or Firefox, no Macs.

      Sounds like a plan to get Bing users to switch to IE and Windows.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    I dont see why it matters to them which search engine I use. I block all the ads regardless.

     

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    Doug, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

    Let me get this straight. Step 1: TechDirt repeatedly insists that there is money to be made by attaching free commodities (such as web search) to non-free commodities (such as customer eyeballs), and that the way to survive is to connect with customers and given them a reason to buy. Step 2: Microsoft develops innovative strategies to connect customers to vendors via their free Bing search tool, going way beyond the banner ads in terms of connecting with customers and giving them a reason to buy. Step 3: Mike Masnick posts an article pointing out how stupid Microsoft is for doing such a silly thing.

    Microsoft has found a way to offer a great service to their advertisers and customers, bringing value to both. This service is much more involving and interactive than the standard banner ad, and appears to have been successful enough in their initial trial period that they want to keep working at making it a success. I fail to see how this is a bad idea. It seems that they're simply following TechDirt's advice and innovating with new ways to connect with their customers and provide value.

     

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      Jay (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:46pm

      Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

      I think you missed the part where they pay people to use their service. And I have yet to see a reason to go with Bing. It looks like it runs Google but with every advancement, Google uses it and expands upon it.

      Bing (to me) has no true incentives to use it when Google already does everything I need.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

      Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

      Step 1: TechDirt repeatedly insists that there is money to be made by attaching free commodities (such as web search) to non-free commodities (such as customer eyeballs), and that the way to survive is to connect with customers and given them a reason to buy. Step 2: Microsoft develops innovative strategies to connect customers to vendors via their free Bing search tool, going way beyond the banner ads in terms of connecting with customers and giving them a reason to buy. Step 3: Mike Masnick posts an article pointing out how stupid Microsoft is for doing such a silly thing.

      You seem to be confusing "doing something" with "doing something well." The failures of Microsoft to bribe people to use Bing in the past suggest that this strategy is not, in fact, a good one.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2010 @ 8:27am

        Re: Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

        And how is that sale of taking techdirt off the net for a year coming along?

         

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      average_joe (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:12pm

      Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

      Nicely done, sir. Nicely done. :)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:13pm

      Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

      "Microsoft has found a way to offer a great service to their advertisers and customers, bringing value to both."

      You also failed to see that Microsoft didn't find anything or else they would be trumpeting the success of the 2 last attempts, so I don't think you are the most qualified person to see anything.

       

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      identicon
      RD, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:26pm

      Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

      "Step 2: Microsoft develops innovative strategies to connect customers to vendors via their free Bing search tool, going way beyond the banner ads in terms of connecting with customers and giving them a reason to buy."

      Dude, seriously, toolbars are NOT "innovative." Good God where have you been for....the ENTIRE EXISTENCE OF THE INTERNET? Sheesh!

       

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      Derek, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:26pm

      Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

      They're bringin' the value alright.

      My studio uses Bing regularly, but with Microsoft choosing to provide incentives only for Windows/IE users (not to mention forcing a toolbar), they won't have to suffer the burden of our search traffic any longer.

       

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      Richard (profile), Sep 28th, 2010 @ 1:57am

      Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

      Your forgetting rule 1 - which is frequently posted here

      "Make sure that your basic product doesn't suck...."

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Sep 28th, 2010 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re: News flash: Microsoft monetizes "free", Mike complains

        It doesn't suck, what it is, is an attempt to hook people on windows and prevent defection to linux or mac OS whatever. Not a very good attempt ...

         

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    Mojo, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    It's sad, a company of MS's size and resources and they just can't seem to get anything right from a PR standpoint.

    Remember a few weeks ago, that "funeral for the iPhone?" Complete with "Thriller" dance troupe?

    WTF? They don't need to just hire new "idea men," they need to FIRE the guy who HIRED them in the first place and thought they had good ideas...

    Time for a clean sweep of the entire MS publicity/stunt dept.

    It's just sad - and a little scary - to watch one epic fail after the next...

     

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    Basin, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:41pm

    Not surprising

    They also handed a fat sack of cash to Verizon to sell Android phones with Bing as the only search option.

    The fact that Verizon would agree to screw over their own customers in exchange for a cash payout shows you how much choice we have in the wireless market.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:45pm

    Most Recent Microsoft innovation

    Did anyone else catch the fact that Microsoft converted it's "Live Spaces" platform to Wordpress..?

     

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    abc gum, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:47pm

    re: Embrace, extend and extinguish

    I think we are at the embrace stage ....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Microsoft can innovate!

    Come on, guys. We just converted Live Spaces to Wordpress for you!

     

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    Kees, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:01pm

    Bing vs Google

    All I have to say is Google Instant search!

     

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      average_joe (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:16pm

      Re: Bing vs Google

      Do you like Instant Search? I can't stand it. I was glad to find the off button.

       

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        Blatant Coward (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:57pm

        Re: Re: Bing vs Google

        Incessant instant search and mandatory auto complete for Google will be some of Bing's best sellers.

         

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        Atkray (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:01pm

        Re: Re: Bing vs Google

        I agree completely. I tried to be open and try it but it is annoying and I get the distinct feeling the results are not anywhere near as good as they used to be. Nothing I can quantify, just an uneasy felling like I'm being cheated.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:32pm

    Google is better

    Personally, I find Google, especially Android, meets all my needs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n4-oVOKoLY

     

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    beeon.net, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:38pm

    I use SSL Scroogle anyway

    Safest (from privacy standpoint) search engine without ads on the planet anyway:
    https://ssl.scroogle.org/
    I have implemented SSL Scroogle in to IE8 and IE9 serachbox to all my Windows 7 installations - that way my users have it by default even on non-domain connected PC's.
    Martin

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:47pm

    I like where this is going, too bad it won't last long though.

    Just to test, I'm up to 326 credits each on 4 different virtual machines on the same computer with different windows live accounts set up. If I can manage even 36 points a day from offers and the 16 from automated searches, then I'll have enough to get a free 8gb microsd card, a digital camera, an mp3 player, a set of pc speakers, and a wireless keyboard/mouse set after about a hundred days.

    It appears the credits are valued at approximately $.01 each, so I've got over $13 worth already.

     

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      average_joe (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 6:02pm

      Re:

      Shh! It's not supposed to be working. ;)

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:03pm

        Re: Re:

        Shh! It's not supposed to be working. ;)

         Oh, I get it!

        So the grand plan is to incentivize people to farm for points with virtual computer emulations. That sure seems like the best way to corner the search market!

         

        why, i bet that the virtual-machine Anon up there is Certain to start using bing for all his searching needs once this money-losing bride system is over..

        he would never just stay on Google, that would be crazy. Crazy like a Fox(running Windows7 Small Mammal Edition)

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Shh! It's not supposed to be working. ;)

         Oh, I get it!

        So the grand plan is to incentivize people to farm for points with virtual computer emulations. That sure seems like the best way to corner the search market!

         

        why, i bet that the virtual-machine Anon up there is Certain to start using bing for all his searching needs once this money-losing bride system is over..

        he would never just stay on Google, that would be crazy. Crazy like a Fox(running Windows7 Small Mammal Edition)

         

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

        Re: Re:

        Shh! It's not supposed to be working. ;)


        Heh. Someone gaming the system to get free stuff is the very definition of it not working.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Example Video

    Microsoft shouldn't buy off users, but instead should hire some independent scientists to figure out how to "Bring It"


    See this:
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ry6H0HcZVlA

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Spyware! ughh!

     

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    abc gum, Sep 28th, 2010 @ 5:09am

    In related news, Microsoft has sent Ricochet Rabbit a C&D letter. Film at eleven.

     

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    identicon
    TDR, Sep 28th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Buying people off is just SOP for Microsoft, as is every conceivable corporate crime you can think of. Bribery, extortion, blackmail, fraud, etc. The sooner MS as a company is destroyed, the better.

    For more details, go here:

    www.vanwensveen.nl/rants/microsoft/IhateMS.html

    Another user posted this link in a story here a while back, so I thought I'd repost it.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    I was annoyed when MS bought Jellyfish.com way back when, because I loved JF and used almost every time I bought something online.

    (Jellyfish found a way to allow people to search for the best deals on items and then after the purchases, would split the referral fee with the user 50/50. At one time, if you referred someone to Jellyfish, the company would split their 50% with the referrer, which was awesome.)

    So I used Bing for shopping and saved up a bit. Now they've discontinued the Cashback program. Now if I use Bing to search for deals, I might get a great deal, but no rebate. Yeah, I no longer use Bing for those searches especially now that I know how much they're making off of me.

    Did Techdirt report on those developments? Seriously, I'm curious because I'm pretty new to the site (via orbusmax.com)

    That aside, what's wrong with loyalty programs? I don't see myself using it, but what's wrong with it?

     

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    Gopesh Kapoor (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    Dear Microsoft

    Dear Microsoft:

    My name is Gopesh Kapoor, and I own a small computer repair and sales business in Manhattan.

    My concern is that each month, business in my sector continuallly diminishes. The amount of piracy in NYC has grown to astonishing levels. For example, the following ads were placed on craigslist in a PERIOD OF 20 MINUTES:

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/sys/2231759358.html
    http://newyork.craigslist.org/que /sys/2231754078.html
    http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/sys/2231756448.html
    http://newyork.craigsli st.org/que/sys/2231752132.html
    http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/sys/2231747774.html
    http://newyor k.craigslist.org/mnh/sys/2231702152.html
    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/sys/2231642511.html
    htt p://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/sys/2231606691.html
    http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/sys/2231532652 .html
    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/sys/2231531684.html


    Every single day, more and more "software" vendors turn up, and more disturbingly, an even larger number of people turn up to buy from them. For those of us who run legitimate businesses, this is becoming an increasing concern.

    According to a recent NY Times article, Microsoft has spent a ton of money setting up an anti-piracy operation with staff members that include former government intelligence officers, former district attorneys, etc.

    This anti-piracy operation IS NOT DOING THEIR JOB. If they were, the levels of piracy would be DECREASING, not INCREASING on a daily basis.

    The costs of this anti-piracy operation is probably built into the price of legitimate MICROSOFT products.

    RECOMMENDATION:

    FIRE this group of incompetents (they are taking your money and not doing the work you're paying them to do), and LOWER the price of your products.

    Or, please feel free and continue to ignore my suggestions. In order to stay afloat, I'll start to consider turning to piracy MYSELF.

    If you continue to employ the idiots in your anti-piracy division, chances are that I'd be able to make tons of money through piracy of your products and never get caught.

    Sincerely,
    Gopesh Kapoor, CCNA, CISSP

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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