Sep 252010
With roughly 85% of the search engine market share, Google isn’t relinquishing the crown any time soon. The search giant’s tendrils extend into far too many services and web apps for the household name to be usurped by another. But if Yahoo, AOL, and are at a loss on how to become the runner-up — let alone the reigning champ — the second banana has a trick up its sleeve: bribery.

Taking a cue from Coke’s under the cap games, Marlboro points, and the stickers that your mother gave you when you brushed your teeth, Microsoft is rewarding users points for using Bing. After installing the Bing bar in your browser, the software logs the number of Bing searches you make and rewards you points. Simply by signing up, you receive 250 points. According to Gizmodo, 100 Bing points translates to 100 Microsoft points, or $1.25.

Points can be traded into various prizes such as an MP3 download, Fandango movie tickets, ringtones, and gift cards for Amazon, Starbucks, Foot Locker, and Panera. Unfortunately, points are mailed to recipients rather than translated into a download code that would be compatible with an Xbox account.

A clear indicator as to why Microsoft trails more than just Google.

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