After shutting down its SearchPerks and Cashback programmes, Microsoft has come up with another offer you just can't refuse: the Bing Rewards.
Currently available in the US only, users are invited to use the Bing search engine in an attempt to improve its odds against rival search engine Google, improve its search engine methodology and provide search feedback to the Bing engine.
This is a no-purchase-required deal, although you are force fed the delicious Bing Bar as a way of supervising your browsing habits and providing you feedback on how many Rewards Points you've collected so far.
Points are collected by taking on Microsoft offers - a bit like mini-quests that send you off searching for the Holy Grail on the Interweb using Bing as the search engine - and by having the Bing Bar read your web surfing habits, including what ads you click, what search engines you use, what terms you type into the search engines and what your system configuration is.
As you reach certain amounts of reward points the Rewards icon on the Bing Bar will gleam with joy-joy and clicking on it will reveal options to claim your gift rewards or just browse for new offers from Microsoft. For those of you who are thinking about rushing off to Bing to sign-up, be advised that the programme is in Preview mode and available - as we mentioned - only to US residents, for now.
In all likelihood, many users will move to the programme on a "let's see what you've got basis" and later on switch back to their faithful search engine after exhausting the point-scoring offers that Microsoft puts up every day.
That, or write a script to do it for them.