Microsoft paying Android users to use Bing

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 30 Jan 2014


Google’s search engine is arguably the best search engine on the planet. Microsoft’s been trying to catch up with Bing, but even if they do, which they probably never will, how will they get people to switch? Easy, just throw money at them. The “Bing Rewards” program was launched in Q3 2010 and offered to give people virtual currency that they could then convert to gift cards or charitable donations simply for using Bing. Today, that program has now been extended to Android and iOS.

How many searches do you have to do in order to get a decent amount of money? That’s a question that Microsoft doesn’t want to answer, and I’m not exactly in the mood to install Bing on my phone just to find out. But I’m going to assume it isn’t much. And even if I wanted to try this rewards program out, I can’t, because it’s limited to a handful of markets. Not all of them are named, strangely, but the USA is obviously one of them.

Why does Microsoft even have a search engine? That’s a question a lot of investors want to know. The company’s online division burns through money each and every quarter, and for what, to become the world’s third or fourth best search engine? In a recent report on search engine usage for Windows Phone it was discovered half of users manually type in into their device, despite there being a dedicated Bing button.

If half the people buying a Microsoft powered don’t want to use a Microsoft powered search engine, what exactly does that say about the quality of said search engine?