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Microsoft The Almighty Buck Software

Financial Incentives for Live Search Data 36

InfoWorldMike writes "In an apparent attempt to boost its disappointing Web search market share, Microsoft will give 'service or training credits' to companies that will share employees' Live Search usage data. The program is being tested with 'a select number of enterprise customers based on the number of Web search queries conducted by their employees via Live Search,' Microsoft said in a statement late on Thursday. The move prompts InfoWord's ed-in-chief to ask: Is Office Live Microsoft's gateway drug?"
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Financial Incentives for Live Search Data

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  • yeah (Score:4, Funny)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Friday March 16, 2007 @11:07PM (#18382915) Homepage
    In an apparent attempt to boost its disappointing Web search market share, Microsoft will give 'service or training credits' to companies that will share employees' Live Search usage data.

    Screw training credits. There was an email going around that said Bill Gates had some intertron email tracking system and he was giving out cash money, and all you had to do was forward the email to all of your friends. Seriously.
    • Smells like (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alascom ( 95042 )
      ...more monopolistic practices coming out of Redmond... when you can't beat 'em, leverage your monopoly in Operating Systems & business desktops by promising companies lower prices for products and training if they do what the masters demand.

      Democrats have control again, lets see if they have the nuts to take a stand and stop this crap once and for all!
    • This is completely different, this time he doesn't care if the data is real.
  • Which is it?

    Information wants to be free.


    Good information is worth paying for!


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Timesprout ( 579035 )
      Open Source like to bang the 'information wants to be free' drum when it suits them but the simple fact is that information has always been, and will always be valuable. With current search technology companies are building up vast data stores and anything that extracts meaningful data is therefore valuable.
  • how many people use msn? it cant be 10% usually when google doesnt find anything, I just rephrase the terms. dont ever remember thinking "i bet msn has it"

    besides you really want msn tracking you?

    and for what? credits? might as well be free skee ball coupons
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tomhudson ( 43916 )

      I think it might - all those sysadmins with linux and bsd boxes squirreled away now have an excuse to create scripts to hammer microsoft's search engine - "Hey boss, linux is good - we're using it to earn the company credits."

      If they REALLY want to capitalize on it, they can hire a spyware programmer to help turn their desktops into a botnet cluster when the employees aren't using them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Jedi Alec ( 258881 )
        Yeah, sorry Bill, but it seems 90% of the searches conducted from within our company relate to sorting out Windows problems. A very common one seems to be "how do i get rid of this msn crap?". "internet explorer crash" seems to be quite popular as well.
    • I have seen several people search the the live search. Those are the same people who just got a 2 year tech degree in everything microsoft and are then shocked when the job offers don't start rolling in.
  • and the government won't need to require it. Win-win...uh, for somebody...
  • by GaryPatterson ( 852699 ) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @12:17AM (#18383153)
    Why compete when you can just buy your customers?

    Google made it big by producing a new, clean, fast and thorough search engine.

    Microsoft just wants to give people money to use theirs.

    Do they even *remember* what competition is about?
    • "If you can't beat them, bribe them."

      If it works for politicians, then it should work for users. Right?
    • by mgblst ( 80109 )
      Don't forget that google pays Dell to install its applications on all the machines they sell, so that Google search is set as default. Google is not above paying for customers too, this has what it has come down to.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is a shrewd move by Microsoft to boost Live Search by tapping into its loyal and well established enterprise customers, but the strategy has its risks, said industry analyst Greg Sterling from Sterling Market Intelligence.

    Doesn't this violate the Sherman Antitrust Act: where a monopoly cannot use their market power (IE: existing customer base) to extend into other fields / markets .
    • Yeah but Microsoft has all the best anti-trust lawyers. They've been getting lots of practice.
    • Doesn't this violate the Sherman Antitrust Act: where a monopoly cannot use their market power (IE: existing customer base) to extend into other fields / markets.

      Doubtful. IANAL, but first of all, Microsoft has been found to hold a monopoly in a narrowly-defined market only: Intel-compatible PC Operating Systems [usdoj.gov]. They certainly don't have monopolies in anything relevant here (search? productivity apps? online gadgets? not even.) so there's not much they can leverage that would be unfair to the competition

  • Is Microsoft trying to make good on all that SPAM that said if you sign your name on some forwarded email that Bill Gates will send you money in the (snail) mail - even though you never typed your address?

    Maybe there is something to paying your userbase?!? I just haven't quite figured it all out yet. Maybe you can help me out...

    1. Make Internet product
    2. Give it free to users
    3. Pay users to use it
    4. ????
    5. Profit !!!!!!!

  • Judging by the enormous amount of R&D that Microsoft has been spending on data mining, I think they are just looking for more information to process.

    Think about it. There are hundreds of thousands of businesses using Microsoft products to conduct their wares. Data mining techniques could be used to streamline the distribution of goods on an epic scale. Currently, there is no massive central agency handling the supplies and demands of an entire economy.

    Information fueled mechanisms are what propel econom
    • by jackv ( 1068006 )
      That's a fascinating point. The key is the responsiveness according to the current whimsy of the consumer . How quickly can an organisation react to a percieved change in demand.Are the current data warehousing techniques sufficient ?
      • Dell does an amazing job. They basically have no inventory. They can pretty much wait until someone purchases a computer from them and then have it custom built. Their secret is their IT, of course. With the redundant network of component distributors that they have, there's not much of a worry of some link in the chain failing either.

        Walmart just trucks things in and loads everything on to the shelves at it's stores. You are basically shopping at a warehouse, that if you've ever noticed, is kind of sparse.
        • by jackv ( 1068006 )
          We could take this idea one step further and look at customisation on the fly. This , to some extent is possible with information based products. i.e software that can reconfigure information according to the requirements of the user. This is slightly more difficult with hardware. Although , you've outlined a good example ,Dell, who have componentized the supply chain process - to the extent where they have little , if any inventory.
  • I'd wager it is just as much abut getting companies to have "Microsoft Trained" people in order to raise barriers to alternatives to MS. This isn't aimed at big corporations, people. This is aimed at small businesses. Gotta get those small businesses better indoctrinated, after all.
  • Let's sit back & really think about the implications of this: 1) If you have to pay customers to use it, it's not a very good product 2) If you have to pay customers to use it, you're grasping at strings to hold on to the very little (I doubt msn has 10%) market share you do have 3) This is just another way that MS is trying to "bully" their way around (using cash, as always, instead of solid design fundamentals) 4) By offering "MS Training," MS is just trying to keep the corporate IT professionals who
  • Okay Microsoft, we'll give you all our users' Live search data. *hands Microsoft a blank sheet of paper* That's all of it. Now where are these training credits?

May all your PUSHes be POPped.