Microsoft – Is It An Edge If You Have To Pay People To Use It?

Microsoft – Is It An Edge If You Have To Pay People To Use It?

Microsoft, as previous posts have covered, don’t have the lion’s share of the browser market anymore as furious competition between the likes of Google, Microsoft and Mozilla dominates this space. But now in America, Microsoft are trying a technique borrowed from retail to lure users over to Edge and Bing – loyalty cards!

What do you get for this shift in loyalty to Edge?

Microsoft has relaunched Bing Rewards in a a new campaign called Microsoft Rewards to tempt users to its browser and search engine. The rewards are gained through a point system (similar to a loyalty card), that  can be redeemed on the Microsoft store or with Amazon, Starbucks or Skype (Forbes). 

So what’s the catch?

In order to claim these rewards, you have to sign up for Microsoft Rewards, be based in the US, download and use Edge and Bing.

THEN

Microsoft will monitor your activity to see if you are using Edge for a minimum of thirty hours a month. And better still, they will also actively track your mouse movements  and other signs of activity that might indicate “foul-play”. Bing also has to be set as the default browser.

Is this actually such a catch?

Well, the very fact that this can be done isn’t a surprise to anyone who knows or uses web analytics software of any kind. Companies track user activity using heat maps to identify what they do on their site and how they go about doing it. The reality is that this is happening anyway; Microsoft at least seems to be open about it.

Will other browsers follow suit?

Google, Mozilla etc all try to compete on every front, trying to provide more features, more functions, simpler systems and quicker systems. Google’s latest attempt at a new feature, or removal thereof, has been hit with resounding user dissatisfaction and has already reversed. For more information on this see the Express’ article on the Google’s removal of the ability to use the backspace key to take you back a page.

Being based in the UK, is this incentive scheme something that would appeal to you if it came across the pond? Edge certainly does boast some impressive credentials, such as improved battery life (see their latest advert below),

  

Change is a frightening prospect and people tend to stick with what they know. I for one am sticking with Chrome. Would you swop?

Stephen Collins