Microsoft Launches SearchPerks Program

    October 1, 2008

At any search engine conference, Google’s setup tends to draw the biggest crowds.  Next come the companies that happen to have booth babes.  But swag is also popular, and since Microsoft can’t easily change its name or distribute women, a new SearchPerks program aims to capitalize on this last idea.

Would-be users must sign up, and then for every search they conduct from the Live Search or MSN sites, they’ll get a virtual ticket.  Assuming they gather enough tickets, they can opt at the end of the promotion to receive tangible gifts.  The SearchPerks program runs through April 15th, and this sounds tempting enough from a user perspective.

Microsoft SearchPerks
 Microsoft SearchPerks

The trouble starts when you examine the ticket-to-gift ratio.  Kip Kniskern writes, "Users are awarded 500 ‘tickets’ for signing up, and are awarded one ticket for each search conducted per day, up to a maximum of 25. . . .  [A] quick calculation puts the maximum tickets available at about 5200, barely enough for a ‘big prize’, like an Xbox controller."

Also, as was (and is) the case with Microsoft’s Live Search cashback program, it’s a little bit sad that the company is using bribes to attract users.  And Microsoft’s currently keeping users of everything other than Internet Explorer and XP or Vista from participating.

Ah, well.  People who already use Microsoft properties for search should be happy, and if you find yourself in need of ringtones, airline miles, or a cookbook, SearchPerks may be worth a look.