After a stirring memo from
Bill Gates detailing his company’s lost opportunities on Web technologies,
Microsoft has been playing catch-up to the likes of Google. Specifically,
Microsoft is feverishly trying to gain market share in the search business—a sector
dominated by the Mountain View, Calif.-based Google.
As its latest effort to push Windows Live Search, Microsoft
is offering businesses incentives to use its search engine. As part of its “Service
Credits for Web Search” program, every PC enrolled using Live Search will yield
a business between $2 to $10 annually in Microsoft service or training credit,
plus a $25,000 “enrollment credit.”
Word of the program first came from John Battelle’s Searchblog, which features
description and pictures outlining Microsoft’s “Service Credits for Web Search.”
As quoted in the entry, Microsoft is pushing its plan with the following
the web daily with tools from Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo. OEMs and web sites
are already earning credits based on searches that their users bring. Now, your
organization can earn credits for Microsoft web searches and redeem them for
Microsoft or preferred partner deployment and training services. More searches
earns more credits towards the services you value.
A couple of examples of service credit show that a company
with 10,000 enrolled PCs could earn credit of $120,000, with larger companies
able to earn even more.
In an e-mail statement as seen on Information
Week, Microsoft confirmed the existence of the program. “Currently, we
are conducting a trial program through which Microsoft is providing service or
training credits to a select number of enterprise customers based on the number
of Web search queries conducted by their employees via Live Search,” said a
“These customers, in turn, are providing valuable
feedback to Microsoft on the use of Web search in an enterprise environment. As
search evolves into more of a productivity tool, and revenue sharing becomes
more commonplace across the industry, we are engaging in mutually beneficial
partnerships such as this and our recently announced deal with Lenovo to more
easily enable customers to choose Live Search.”
quote: If you have to PAY people to use your service, then there's something wrong with it.