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Print 67 comment(s) - last by The Sly Syl.. on Oct 6 at 11:20 AM

"Am I late to the free (cash) giveaway?"

Microsoft is the world leader in the operating system world.  Its Xbox 360 console is a strong second worldwide, with excellent hardware sales.  The company is even salvaging its reputation with clever new ads.

The one eyesore for Microsoft is its floundering online efforts.  While Microsoft dreams of one day rivaling Google in the search engine market, it is unable to even catch up to veteran platform Yahoo, which itself is a distant second to Google.  This sad state comes despite massive spending on its online divisions.

In yet another attempt to try to gain some sort of internet search traction, Microsoft is returning to a familiar theme -- spending more money -- but this time it’s giving money to customers.  DailyTech covered the early days of these promotions, which were expected to go as quickly as they came.

However Microsoft continues to expand on its cash for search programs.  Its latest edition is the Search Perks incentive, which joins Live Search Club, Search and Give, and Live Search Cashback promotions in recent months.  Microsoft is getting a little trickier with its latest effort -- you not only have to use Microsoft's Live Search, but you also have to use its Internet Explorer Browser which is bad news for Firefox stalwarts.

To join the promotion, users must download a small program.  You can't download the program or view the true SearchPerks site from Firefox or Opera browsers.  Once you get the program, it tracks your searching and gives you one ticket per search query.  You can earn up to 25 tickets a day.  In April, users can cash in the tickets for prizes or to give money to charity.  Microsoft has not announced the prizes yet, but one of them might start with "V" and end with "ta" according to rumors.

Microsoft claims that it may consider opening its doors to Firefox users, but that it simply believes there is not currently "enough user interest" from Firefox users in the promotion.  The announcement from Microsoft reads, "At this time, SearchPerks is a limited promotion, though we remain open to expending availability of the promotion to different browsers and operating systems based on consumer interest."

It’s unclear whether Microsoft's latest attempt to persuade users to try its search engine will fare better than the last.  After the CashBack promotion, market share briefly jumped, but overall has fallen back even lower than before.  Microsoft now holds a mere 8.3 percent of the market behind Yahoo's 19.6 percent and Google's 63 percent.

Some analysts have even compared Microsoft's cash for search efforts to a certain infamous ill-fated internet company's free giveaways of floppy disks and later CDs.

Live Search Senior Director Frederick Savoye says that the effort is just part of Microsoft's online initiatives, which also include making the search better and making it easier to use.  Even he admits that the cash back programs haven't seen much success, though.  He states, "We haven't seen (our market share) move significantly yet.  We know we have some challenges with the brand and perception.  Simple awareness is still a challenge for us."

The new program is available until the end of the year or until 250,000 people sign up.  Microsoft has stated that it may consider extending the program past April.  Mr. Savoye is confident, in the end, money will reprogram users.  He says optimistically, "Over the long-term these programs have changed people's behavior."



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No Deal
By UppityMatt on 10/1/2008 9:19:56 AM , Rating: 4
I would rather use Firefox then get free tickets.




RE: No Deal
By GreenyMP on 10/1/2008 9:59:00 AM , Rating: 3
I have only used Microsoft Live Search a handful of times, but my experience with Microsoft SharePoint search poisons me. I have seldom experienced a search with such irrelevant results. The only one that comes to mind is the old Buy.com search (which has since been replaced).

Yea, my time is worth more to me than that.


RE: No Deal
By marvdmartian on 10/1/2008 11:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, here's what you do. Since they want to install a toolbar, do it on your old system, so you're not fooling with the newer one you use now. Download and install their program. Once a day, power up the system, go online, do 25 searches, power down the system. Shouldn't take more than 10 minutes.

Then go back to your new computer, with it's pristine copy of Firefox, and do some real searching!! ;)


RE: No Deal
By gmw1082 on 10/1/2008 11:21:06 AM , Rating: 2
With some knowledge you could even make a program to automatically do this for you.


RE: No Deal
By GaryJohnson on 10/1/2008 11:43:56 AM , Rating: 5
Minimal knowledge required:

Bookmark 25 Live search results and put them in your windows 'startup' folder.


RE: No Deal
By Hieyeck on 10/1/2008 2:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
Also, bookmark a batch file to wait a few minutes to shutdown the computer.

While you're at it, configure the bios to boot it up everyday.


RE: No Deal
By rudolphna on 10/1/2008 12:11:49 PM , Rating: 1
thats exactly what im gonna do. except I will just use Internet Explorer 8 beta on my main to do it. my primary browser is Google Chrome, for java pages, I use Firefox, and for IE only pages I use IE8. Its an efficient setup, for me. I shooting for some music, and then some frequent flier miles. I wonder which airline I can use them with (*crosses fingers for continental*) and how far 2500FFM would get me


RE: No Deal
By Nik00117 on 10/1/2008 1:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not even going to brother. Not worth my time and effort,


RE: No Deal
By afkrotch on 10/2/2008 8:01:48 AM , Rating: 2
That's simply just a retarded way of doing things. Here's an idea, use a single browser. That is an efficient setup. Opening and closing different browsers according to the website is stupid.

"oh look, this page uses Java. I better copy the link and open up Firefox. Oh wait....the java seems to be built around IE8. Well, guess I'll just have to copy that link and open it in IE8"

I'm about to get rid of IE8, cause of the stupid compatibility button crap. I want that to be as transparent as possible, which IE7 does nicely. Google Chrome doesn't feel good enough for a beta yet and with Firefox I'm stuck getting so many different plugins, just to make it do what IE7 already does.


RE: No Deal
By Gzus666 on 10/2/2008 8:47:35 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I'm about to get rid of IE8, cause of the stupid compatibility button crap. I want that to be as transparent as possible, which IE7 does nicely. Google Chrome doesn't feel good enough for a beta yet and with Firefox I'm stuck getting so many different plugins, just to make it do what IE7 already does.


So, slow and wonky over adding a few plugins? Seems a bit odd to me. Hard to fault Firefox for that, as they try to make a basic browser, and leave it to you to customize to taste, rather than just throw everything in, and make you remove what you don't want. But, to each his own I guess.


RE: No Deal
By rudolphna on 10/2/2008 12:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
I love Chrome, it looks great, and its fast. I like firefox, but its problematic for some reason. I like IE8. its very fast, but it still has compatability issues with certian things


RE: No Deal
By BMFPitt on 10/2/2008 7:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Okay, here's what you do. Since they want to install a toolbar, do it on your old system, so you're not fooling with the newer one you use now.
Sounds like a perfect use for Virtual Machines.


RE: No Deal
By Quiescent on 10/2/2008 12:03:37 AM , Rating: 2
Google Chrome fan. Javascript works fine, if you update your browser. I use Firefox for anything that doesn't work in Chrome. I would do it, if it didn't include installing a program that smells suspicious to me. Why would I download a program to track all my searches? Why not just log in to Live and it tracking VIA the web. Nothing to install. It smells fishy because of this fact.


RE: No Deal
By PrinceGaz on 10/2/2008 7:18:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I would rather use Firefox then get free tickets.


It would make more sense to use IE instead of Firefox for your web use from the start of each day until you accumulate your ticket allowance, instead of deliberately switching to IE later on and spending time specifically to collect them.

If I were eligible, I would consider switching from Opera to IE to collect my allowance, *then* once I've done my 25 searches switch back to Opera.


All these links in the article....
By mikecel79 on 10/1/2008 10:09:55 AM , Rating: 5
...and now one link to the friggin site! Don't even get me started on those stupid Vibrant ads either. If anyone is interetested the link is below.

http://www.getsearchperks.com/Landing.aspx?Campaig...

Also all the prizes are listed right on the site.




RE: All these links in the article....
By tallcool1 on 10/1/2008 12:32:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft has not announced the prizes yet, but one of them might start with "V" and end with "ta" according to rumors.
Following that link, I do not see any such prize listed.


RE: All these links in the article....
By diceless on 10/1/2008 12:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
I've followed the link as well with chrome and didn't see anything listed. But when I opened the site in IE it showed the prizes... and pretty lame prizes at that. Hmm, searching for 200 days will net you a xbox controller. A t-shirt will cost you 44 days of searching.

Yep, this looks like a winner for microsoft.


By Clauzii on 10/2/2008 1:52:11 AM , Rating: 2
Nice sarcasm in Your last sentence :)


RE: All these links in the article....
By TheOneStorm on 10/2/2008 9:06:42 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, the Xbox360 controller will take longer than you have days left in the program. If you register now and do 25 searches EVERY DAY until the end of April, you will have about 5325 points..... which isn't enough for the controller. Ain't that just brilliant.

( 365 / 12 ) * 7 = 212.9 * 25 = 5325

You could get 2000 airline miles a microsoft branded t-shirt though! Woo.


By TheOneStorm on 10/2/2008 9:08:47 AM , Rating: 2
Oh.. you get 500 tickets for signing up. So anybody within the next 12-13 days to register can get the xbox360 controller by searching every day. Wouldn't it be more effective to just go out and buy one and get it today?


By xphile on 10/5/2008 10:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah - and anyway those blue pills end Ra not Ta!


Old Skool?
By Mitch101 on 10/1/2008 11:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
I run a couple of websites and recently AltaVista has been showing up more and more in the inbound traffic. Its been ages since I used it but could it be making some sort of small comeback? Keep in mind I am not predicting AltaVista over throwing anyone in the search engine category but I am surprised to see it showing up more and more lately.




RE: Old Skool?
By Oregonian2 on 10/1/2008 3:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
Dunno about Altavista "proper", but my major use of them over the years was their Babelfish language translation. If you click on it now, you get babelfish.yahoo.com, it seems it was gobbled up. Don't know if Altavista proper was part of that gobbling though.


RE: Old Skool?
By Mitch101 on 10/1/2008 5:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know either just thought it was interesting to see them show up on the radar.


RE: Old Skool?
By Oregonian2 on 10/1/2008 5:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe this is Yahoo's grand plan for future growth ?


RE: Old Skool?
By Clauzii on 10/2/2008 1:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen Lycos once in a while too. That must be a decade old by now.


RE: Old Skool?
By aatnet on 10/2/2008 3:47:09 AM , Rating: 2
Altavista is much better than google when it comes to image search (Try it and you'll see what i mean)


Live Search is pretty bad
By Spivonious on 10/1/2008 10:44:11 AM , Rating: 5
I gave Live Search a chance for a good two months. I'd say that 9 times out of 10, the results that were returned had nothing to do with my search terms. The exact same query in Google returned an entire page of relevant results.

Like them or not, Google just has a better product.




RE: Live Search is pretty bad
By AlexWade on 10/1/2008 12:44:20 PM , Rating: 5
I agree. Live search is terrible. I only use Live to search Microsoft KB articles and to use the cashback thing. Other than that, I don't use it.

There is a reason why Live isn't gaining marketshare, it is because it doesn't work well. Thus, those who used it are not going to recommend it. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising there is.


Self Promotion
By misbfa1 on 10/1/2008 10:53:36 AM , Rating: 5
Are there enough links to other DailyTech articles in this? Maybe a few more?




RE: Self Promotion
By mikecel79 on 10/1/2008 11:02:20 AM , Rating: 4
I'm all for linking to other stories on Dailytech when they are at least relevant! I mean come on, the first paragraph of this story does nothing but promote other stories that are completely irrelevant.


Live maps > Google maps
By Strunf on 10/1/2008 11:45:38 AM , Rating: 5
At least around here live maps offer better resolution and you can't beat the bird eye function.




RE: Live maps > Google maps
By walk2k on 10/1/2008 12:33:36 PM , Rating: 2
I would have agreed with you a few months ago but it seems Google has updated the satellite maps in my area (very obvious by recent new construction). But the bird's eye view is pretty amazing (and scary, you can read the sign on the front of my shop).


RE: Live maps > Google maps
By stromgald30 on 10/2/2008 12:52:09 AM , Rating: 2
This is so true. The Bird's eye view is alot better than google maps because you can actually see the store signs. I usually use both though. I still like Google's interface better, so I usually use that for directions and use Live maps to make sure which side of the street or where/what side of the mall the store is on.


V*ta?
By foolsgambit11 on 10/1/2008 1:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
might start with "V" and end with "ta"

Mmmmm..... V For Vendetta?
Hmmm..... A sample of three adjacent elements - Vanadium, Niobium, and Tantalum - V, Nb, Ta?
Errmmm.... Victoria's Secret....a....?

I give. What could Microsoft offer called V*ta that could possibly tempt people to join this intrusive program?




RE: V*ta?
By Sebec on 10/1/2008 2:11:43 PM , Rating: 3
It's so obvious--Velveeta shells and cheese!


RE: V*ta?
By mindless1 on 10/1/2008 7:15:08 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously it's V1AGRtA


RE: V*ta?
By The Sly Syl on 10/6/2008 11:20:19 AM , Rating: 2
Viva Pinata!

It's even published by microsoft. Makes perfect sense to me.

The same people who would use the MSN search engine would also enjoy the "casual" game title.


Toolbar? No thanks.
By Capsaicin on 10/1/2008 10:24:01 AM , Rating: 3
I was in until I saw the toolbar download. /bleh




RE: Toolbar? No thanks.
By PhoenixKnight on 10/1/2008 8:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Toolbar? No thanks.
By Gzus666 on 10/2/2008 8:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
"Why does my computer run slow?"

That is quite a funny pic.


Really?
By the goat on 10/1/2008 9:30:47 AM , Rating: 2
This program really doesn't list what you are earning tickets for? Reminds me of the old gameshow "let's make a deal" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let's_Make_a_Deal

Monty Hall says, "You can trade all your web browsing for a year for what's-in-the-box!"




RE: Really?
By Sunrise089 on 10/1/2008 9:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
The real question is whether or not we should accept the offer to trade the search cash we picked behind door #1 for the search cash Monty will allow us to swap to behind door #2 :)


RE: Really?
By modestninja on 10/1/2008 11:20:11 AM , Rating: 2
That's not a hard question to answer. According to the probablities, you should always make the switch.


Fail.
By itlnstln on 10/1/2008 2:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
Using Windows XP Pro x64, I get the message, "Your operating system operating system is not supported." Thanks...




RE: Fail.
By PrinceGaz on 10/2/2008 7:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen worse- like when nVidia had a year-long SLI promotion but the only people eligible to enter were those who already had an nVidia SLI capable mobo (and some of the prizes were mobos), had an nVidia graphics-card, and installed what were at the time beta Forceware drivers to register. That was madness as the only people who could win prizes were already serious nVidia customers (they not only had a graphics-card from them, but also an SLI capable mobo-- and these were the days when only the high-end boards were SLI capable).

Obviously it would be better if Windows 2000, XP Pro x64, and 2003 were supported, but let's be honest- how many people don't have 32-bit XP or any version of Vista installed as a boot-option on their box?


User Agent
By blafrisch on 10/2/2008 5:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know if anyone tried this, but you can do this and use Firefox. You just have to switch the user agent. That's very easy in Firefox using this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/59 . Then you just have to switch your user agent to an IE version over version 6. Mine is now set to IE7 on Vista.




RE: User Agent
By blafrisch on 10/2/2008 5:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
Ignore what I said. I didn't realize you had to install an app to count your point. How lame is that?


Live Cashback is Awsome
By Trikat on 10/1/2008 9:25:25 AM , Rating: 3
I love Live Cashback and use it for most of my online purchases if I remember to use it.
I'm not sure if I will use this new search ticketing scheme, but then I haven't heard of it until now.




Geee wizzz
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 10/1/2008 9:38:19 AM , Rating: 2
Just what I always wanted, TICKETS!!! Yea.

If they are not playoff tickets don't talk to me about tickets. Just be honest, you'll earn credits to "buy" things we (MS) have to much of in stock.... Can say it, "Earn credits, get stuff."




Maybe
By plupien79 on 10/1/2008 9:46:26 AM , Rating: 2
If they were giving away MSPoints they'ed have a better carrot. And 2 built in demographics. Gamers and Zune owners.




By Spacecomber on 10/1/2008 10:52:46 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe that would generate some buzz and some brand loyalty.




What will happen is....
By Aloonatic on 10/1/2008 11:04:49 AM , Rating: 2
....Governments and companies will look at the success of this (as there will be plenty of people thinking that this will make them rich quick or something equally silly) and then will say:

"You see, people don't mind having their searches tracked, so we will now track everything that you do on-line forever and keep the information forever and own your digital life forever......"

/takes off tin foil hat to scratch head and then quickly replaces it before any thoughts can be stolen and my decent against "the machine" can be acknowledged




More on this
By crystal clear on 10/1/2008 11:24:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
However Microsoft continues to expand on its cash for search programs.


Microsoft To Open Search R&D Center In Norway

Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) on Tuesday revealed plans to set up a research and development center for enterprise search in Oslo, Norway, in a move that will boost the Scandinavian nation's growing reputation as a search technology hotbed.
Oslo is home to Fast Search & Transfer, the search firm that Microsoft acquired in January for about $1.2 billion in order to bolster its enterprise search capabilities. The combined Microsoft-Fast operations currently employ about 300 people, and Microsoft says it plans to add an additional 50 researchers and developers.

Microsoft's Oslo center will expand the company's European R&D footprint, which includes R&D centers in Cambridge, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark.



http://www.crn.com/software/210604854;jsessionid=A...




Live Search is pretty nice
By pauldovi on 10/1/2008 12:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
I tried it and it has a lot of nice features. Try their image search... it has a nice "zoom" effect.




Make it better
By fuser197 on 10/1/2008 3:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
Make a better search engine and they will come.




Limited to US residents
By ET on 10/1/2008 3:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
Otherwise I think that firing up IE for a few spurious searches isn't too much of a problem.




By SpaceJumper on 10/1/2008 5:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
We will be ended up paying more for the Microsoft products.




Microsoft's Problem
By Kougar on 10/1/2008 5:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft seems to have the same person in charge making these corporate decisions...

IE: if it doesn't work lets throw money at the problem and buy out people to ignore our product's deficiencies. Even a 15 year old knows this will only work as long as you continue to throw money at the problem... take away the free money, and you'll be back at square one.




But doesn't....
By fake01 on 10/1/2008 8:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox have a IE tab addon that allows you to view webpages using IE that don't work with firefox? I've got it and it works well. Just have to right click the page and go "View page in IE tab".




Firefox users not welcome.
By Alias1431 on 10/1/2008 10:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
That's fine, on my machine Windows is not welcome.




By Darkskypoet on 10/2/2008 12:01:19 AM , Rating: 2
I had to try it... I mean hardly anything seems to really support IE x64.. but what the heck... So i use the lin, cut and paste into IE x64 for a few lolz... and what do you think comes up?

"Your operating system is not supported. This program requires Windows XP or Windows Vista in order to run."

(sent me here: http://www.getsearchperks.com/Status.aspx?campaign...

Sigh. Go Microsoft.

Maybe its just so good, that it could tell that i wasn't gonna download the tool bar anyway :)




Dear Microsoft,
By SiliconAddict on 10/2/2008 9:28:58 AM , Rating: 2
No.




Open nature of the internet
By wvh on 10/2/2008 3:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
Once again – despite my understanding of its motives – Microsoft proves that giving it any more power than it already has, would obliterate the open nature of the internet and turn it into a near-monopoly.




Two reasons
By PrinceGaz on 10/2/2008 3:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
There are two reasons I won't be joining in this scheme-

1) I prefer to use Opera, but mainly
2) I don't live in the US.

It might be worth mentioning in the article that only people in the 'US and A' are eligible, so that others don't waste time.




Prizes?
By spread on 10/4/2008 4:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
You get a chance to win... a free copy of Vista.

Lame.




Just wondering:
By Oralen on 10/2/2008 3:59:10 AM , Rating: 1
If you use this thing, and then type "Google" in the search box, what happens ?

And don't forget the legend:

"Every time a Microsoft employee gets an ulcer, a Google employee gets it's stock options..."




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