Sunday, March 18, 2007

Microsoft Bribes Companies to Use Search

From John Battelle's Search Blog:
...Microsoft is offering its large enterprise customers free service and product credits if those customers push Live search inside their enterprises. Called "Microsoft Service Credits for Web Search," a Powerpoint overview of the program sent to me states:

"Employees search the web daily with tools from Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo. OEMs and web sites are already earning credits based on searches that their users bring. Now, your organization can earn credits for Microsoft web searches and redeem them for Microsoft or preferred partner deployment and training services. More searches earns more credits towards the services you value."

The value is non-trivial - the presentation estimates companies can get from $2 to $10 per computer annually, plus a $25K "enrollment credit". For sites that have tens of thousands of computers, that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in free stuff from Microsoft. Most large enterprises spend millions on Microsoft services and software each year. It's not hard to imagine a CFO getting slightly moist over savings like these.
So sleazy! In other words, Microsoft can't create a better search product, so they're paying folks to use their inferior shit.


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