Vol. 5 Num 994 Sun. March 18, 2007  

Microsoft to reward search engine users

Microsoft on Friday began offering large businesses rewards if they have employees scout the Internet with the software giant's Live Search service.

In a move intended to wrest users from rival search engines such as market-dominating Google, Microsoft will give business customers service or training credits based on how much employees use Live Search.

"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," the Redmond, Washington, company said in a written statement.

"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 a deal with Lenovo to more easily enable customers to choose Live Search."

Microsoft announced a deal this month to pre-install software that makes the default page in computers made by the China-based Lenovo.

Google has a deal with US computer maker Dell to preload its search engine tool bar on that company's machines.

Microsoft would not disclose how the credits are calculated, saying it depended on the number of personal computers enrolled in the program and the amount of Live Search use.