Microsoft tries again with another search-rewards program

Microsoft tries again with another search-rewards program

Summary: On the heels of canceling its Bing Search Cashback program, Microsoft is trying its hand at another attempt to increase search share using rewards, known as Bing Rewards.


On the heels of canceling its Bing Search Cashback program, Microsoft is trying its hand at another attempt to increase search share using rewards.

The newest program, Bing Rewards, is similar to credit card or airline loyalty programs that offer users points that can be redeemed for products, gift cards or charitable donations, Search Engine Land explained.

Points don't come cheap, however. To participate, users need to be running Windows; to sign up for a Windows Live ID; use Internet Explorer and have the Bing Bar toolbar. No other browsers or operating systems are allowed.

Bing Search Cashback was hardly Microsoft's first attempt to incent users with cash, points and prizes to use its search engine. There was Live SearchPerks, the Live Search Club, Live Search CashBack and an even earlier program, known as “Service Credits for Web Search,” via which Microsoft signed up businesses to require and/or encourage their employees to use Live Search in exchange for lower software prices.

Microsoft execs are playing up the new Bing Search Cashback as being more about increasing Bing user engagement than about making any major search gains.

I'm not sure why Microsoft's being so restrictive on the requirements front with Bing Rewards. I'd think the Softies would welcome any operating system and any browser, as long as users were willing to "Bing it." But it seems that's not the case... at least for now.

Topics: IT Employment, Browser, CXO, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • If you fail miserably ... try and try again until .... ????

    • RE: Microsoft tries again with another search-rewards program

      @wackoae Next month the gets disbanded. Can't believe they are still around and its a pretty good chance Oracle will be dropping them like they did opensolaris. <a href=""><b>araba oyunu</b></a>
  • Bing Bar

    Plus the Bing Bar is already available for Firefox too.
  • MSFT couldn't pay me enough to...

    Use IE, Install toolbars (which I absolutely loath), or use Bing. IE8 is slow, toolbars make it even slower, and Bing couldn't help you find your way out of a wet paper sack.
    • Well forget IE 8 then...

      @JM1981 ... what you need is IE9.

      Oh, and you need to upgrade to windows 7 to get IE 9.
      • Run Vista on my laptop, and 7 on my desktop...

        @HollywoodDog... and I don't use beta products on my production boxes.
  • The restrictions are easily understood

    "Im not sure why Microsofts being so restrictive on the requirements front with Bing Rewards."<br><br>Suggest anything to any Microsoft manager. Comes back the question; "How does that help us sell more Windows."<br><br>Microsoft makes money selling Windows and Office. Everything else they do loses money.

    The point of this program is to incent people to use Wndows, not to incent them to use Bing.
    • Incenting people to use WIndows

      I'd think MS wouldn't be wasting money trying to incent more people to use Windows this way, given the monopoly market share it has in PC operating systems... It needs to push Bing far more than Windows... MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • I think Bing is a loss leader

        @Mary Jo Foley ... Requiring somebody to use Windows to use Bing Cashback makes little sense if the goal is to expand the ranks of those using Bing. It makes perfect sense if the goal is to create an alternate world of interlocking products and services whose price of admission is a Windows license.
  • M$ is too proprietary

    They can get the OS and browser type from the HTTP request header, but how do they know about the bing toolbar?
    Is M$ again embracing and extending a standard?
    The DOJ should investigate!
    Linux Geek
  • Microsoft does not stop at their ?lobbying? headquarters....

    (See photo here):

    ?The company opened a Washington lobbying office, founded a political action committee and soon became one of the most generous political givers in the country?:

    They occasionally extend their ?rewards? (lobbying?) to their customers when they see them becoming too ?restless?.

    Will this post be removed for its LACK of relevance, or BECAUSE of its dead on relevance? And how would one know the difference? That, my friends, is what insures the existence of huge monopolistic corporations. Read and weep...........
    Ole Man
    • Wow, great post.

      @Ole Man ... I am glad I'm not a business in Washington. Not only is the state out of money because of Microsoft's lobbying, but all other businesses in the state got hit with a tax hike.

      "But back in 1997, Washington's software industry (commonly led by Microsoft) persuaded the Legislature to cut the state's royalty tax on worldwide licensing revenue by more than 2/3 from 1.5% to .484%.

      Note: the tax rate that most businesses pay in Washington remained at 1.5% until this year, when the Legislature, led by Rep. Ross Hunter, raised it to 1.8% - in part to cover the gap created by the elimination of the worldwide royalty tax - what we called Microsoft's $100 million annual tax cut.

      Even using my old estimates, if Microsoft had not lobbied the legislature to cut the royalty tax and begun dodging the tax via its Nevada office, it would have paid $3.08 billion (left image) more in taxes. However, using the estimate based on the Nevada licensing job listing, Microsoft would have paid $5.10 billion more (right image) in taxes.

      Instead of a projected $3.3 billion deficit, Washington State would today have a $1.8 billion surplus."
  • RE: Microsoft tries again with another search-rewards program

    It seems a bit ridiculous that Microsoft is being so restrictive with the requirements for this contest. I don?t understand why it matters if someone is using Internet Explorer or Firefox, as long as they have chosen Bing as their search engine. I think this is going to discourage many people, especially Mac users. Do you know what kind of rewards Microsoft is offering with this program?
    TuneUp Utilities
  • RE: Microsoft tries again with another search-rewards program

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