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February 13, 2006

Microsoft kicks off contest for search users

Posted by David Hunter at 12:38 PM ET.

It’s not quite Bill Gates’ idea of paying search users and it’s not a usage rewards program like Yahoo is thinking about, but today MSN Offers $1 Million in Prizes and Charitable Donations With Search and Win:

Want a new flat-screen high-definition TV? Craving a new pair of Atomic skis? Wish you could bestow a $50,000 donation to your favorite nonprofit organization? Over the next several months, perform any Web search on MSN ® and you just might see these wishes realized.

MSN Search kicked off the MSN Search and Win promotion today, which gives customers the chance to win a variety of prizes each time a search is performed on MSN. Prizes include gift certificates from American Express, Target, REI and Nike; Canon PowerShot digital cameras; HP Digital Entertainment Centers; and Creative Zen Sleek MP3 players.

Over the course of three months, each with its own set of giveaways, not only can MSN Search customers win prizes for themselves, they can win cash prizes for a nonprofit agency of their choice. Each month of the promotion, MSN will award $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 charitable donations on behalf of three selected winners.

Prizes for the month of February are linked to more than 1,200 pre-identified keywords for that month. The keywords list will expand for games in March and April. As customers enter search terms into the query box, they will be taken to the MSN Search results page, where they will find out if they won.

One can’t help but wonder if we’ve entered a period of oneupsmanship by the search engines trying to catch up with Google. All the details at

Filed under General Business, MSN, MSN Search, Marketing, Public Relations

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