Microsoft is now indirectly paying people in the U.K. to use Bing and ditch Google. In its most fraught attempt ever, Microsoft has decided to reward people with points for using its search engine. These points can be used for various freebies.
Using loyalty points to attract users to Bing
Microsoft’s program, which so far was limited only to the United States, is now open to British users, who can earn points and use them in exchange for freebies like Xbox digital gift cards, Skype credit and Groove music passes. Users can also donate their points to charity organizations, notes The Verge.
A user can get a total of 30 points in a day through searches or quizzes they participate in. Microsoft is also giving 1 point for every pound spent at its U.K. online store. Any user who manages to earn 500 points in a month will reach the second level, enabling them to qualify for better rewards and earn up to 150 points every day.
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On Bing.com, Level 1 members are eligible to earn points for a maximum of 10 searches, and level 2 members can earn points for a maximum of 50 searches per day, with 30 made through PC and 20 through mobile devices, according to Microsoft.
“The search limit resets every day, so you can start earning again tomorrow,” the company said.
If a user collects 6,000 points, he/she will qualify for an Xbox Live Gold Membership that costs £9.99, while 9,500 points can be exchanged for a one-month Groove Music Pass worth £8.99. Users can redeem 110,000 points, or 99,900 for Level 2 members, for a 12-month Groove Music Pass.
Can Microsoft topple Google?
Microsoft has surely triggered a direct war with Google. It aims to shut down the Chrome internet browser in its upcoming Windows 10S operating system. It is interesting to note that this OS focuses on the education market, where Google is already a leader. According to ZDNet, Microsoft’s new operating system will allow users to install apps that can be downloaded from the Windows store, so the desktop version of Chrome will be missing.
In 2012, Microsoft launched “Bing it On,” which was a direct face-off challenge asking users to choose the search engine they prefer. Bing is not the only one to offer such loyalty points to users. Google did a similar experiment called Screenwise, in which users needed to share their history and habits in order to earn £15 at the end of the year, notes The Register.
Despite such programs, it will be very difficult for Microsoft to surpass Google Search, which enjoys a market share of 77.98%. Although Bing is the second most popular search engine, it is far behind at 7.81%. In third place is China’s Baidu, with a 7.71% market share, while Yahoo is a distant fourth with a 3.16% share of the market.
In the next few weeks or months, Microsoft plans to launch its rewards program in France, Germany and Canada. Microsoft is surely not leaving any stone unturned to increase traffic for Bing. Recently, the company added Visual Image Search to allow Bing users to search for objects within images.