As if anyone is still using toolbars, Microsoft is hoping to attract more users to its Bing search engine by offering up free Skype credit for those that make the effort. You do need to register for Bing rewards however - no doubt adding a few extra bits of spam to your email.
Further cooperation between Microsoft's services and Skype was bound to happen at some point, since the software giant is now the owner of the VOIP service, having purchased it last year.
Announced on the Microsoft blog, the new rewards scheme for US users allows Skype credit to be earned and spent on several activities:
- Call landlines or mobile phones
- SMS to mobile phones directly
- Set up a Skype To Go number2 and call abroad from any phone
- Access Skype Wi-Fi through third-party hotspots
Microsoft states that for "100 Bing Reward credits" you'll be able to trade that in for 60 minutes Skype talk time. The small print on this is that 60 minutes is represented by call rates of 2.3 cents per minute, equating to around $1.38 in Skype credit.
This deal only really sounds good because Skype calls are so cheap in the first place. It's nice to earn free stuff, but depending on how much you need to do to earn 100 credits, it might just be easier to pay the dollar and change.