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November 4, 2005

Gates: MSN to test financial incentives for Internet search users

Posted by David Hunter at 5:06 PM ET.

(Via Cool Tech Reviews) Bryan Glick of Computing interviews Bill Gates who says that Internet search engines will have to offer financial incentives:

And in an exclusive interview with Computing, Gates hints that MSN is about to test ways of offering financial incentives for users, to help the portal site compete with Google.

‘Google is getting about $50 per year for your searching. Yet, because it does not think it has any competition, it is not giving any of that back to you,’ he said.

‘As search becomes competitive and people realise that other offerings are as good, or are even significantly better, there will be price competition.

‘You will get some free content or a cheque, or some incentive to use a different search engine. Competition for users has not even kicked in. I can assure you it will not stay that way.’

Hit the link for more details and the rest of the interview which has some comments about Google:

But, while acknowledging Google as ‘a fine company, a serious competitor’, he is dismissive of the threat.

‘Which Google products are you talking about? Seriously? Other than search, which are you talking about? Google Talk? Wow. A total “me too” product. Even Gmail – what is the unique thing?’ he says.

‘We need to surprise people and do a search that is way better than Google, and we are very on top of that. The idea of development tools, a natural interface, productivity software – Google is not in any of those categories. People are acting as if they will magically be in these other categories with something more than a “me too” offering. It is kind of fun that people underestimate what we are going to do here.’

And he can’t resist one more dig at the world’s biggest search engine company.

‘Google is great, they are smart people, the press should continue to feed their arrogance as much as possible,’ he says.

Filed under Bill Gates, Coopetition, Executives, Google, MSN, MSN Search

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4 Responses to “Gates: MSN to test financial incentives for Internet search users”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Blog Archive » Microsoft to show search engine users the money Says:

    [...] John Ribeiro at Infoworld reports that Bill Gates is still talking up my favorite Microsoft idea (previous story here): Microsoft Corp. will share a part of its advertising revenues from its search engine with users, the company’s chairman Bill Gates said in a panel discussion on an Indian television channel. [...]

  2. Microsoft buys search share with Live Search Club -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Bill Gates famously suggested that Microsoft might buy the affections of Internet searchers and that seems to have come true as market research firms Compete and comScore have both reported a substantial jump in Microsoft’s June US search share due to an offering of prizes for searchers via  Microsoft’s Live Search Club promotion. [...]

  3. Christmas comes early at Live Search -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Back in 2005, Bill Gates suggested that search engines would have to offer financial incentives to users and Microsoft, at least, really got into it last June with their Live Search Club promotion featuring search based games. I guess they liked the results because more Live Search goodies are on the way: [...]

  4. Live Search tries incentivized shopping ads with Live Search cashback | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Back in 2005, Bill Gates suggested that Microsoft might provide financial rewards to attract search users,  but the devil is, as always, in the details. You can’t pay for raw numbers of searches, because the scammers would be all over it and the Live Search Club games of last summer had a similar problem. Now according to the Seattle PI’s Todd Bishop, Microsoft is set to try again with the announcement of an incentivized shopping promotion called Live Search cashback which only pays if you buy products from selected retailers. The somewhat oldtimey slogan is ‘Microsoft Live Search cashback is "The Search That Pays You Back".’ [...]

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