Microsoft offers Businesses Paid Incentive for Search

Dennis Faas's picture

Usually, embarking on a corporate upgrade path that involves fresh software is an expensive venture. It can take millions of dollars to update company computers, pay IT overtime, and train those who might use it.

However, with Microsoft's recently unveiled Live Search technology, the Redmond-based company is actually offering to pay corporations who integrate it. The handout is rumored to include a $25,000 base provision, with an additional $2 to $10 for every PC using the Live Search.

For the time being, Microsoft is looking to try the incentive program with 30 companies in North America, Japan, and Europe. However, if it proves useful, this could be expanded to many other corporations within a year or two. (Source:

How do the incentives work?

A company will be automatically given the $25,000 "enrollment credit" just for taking part. The ranging $2 to $10 individual computer fee will be adjusted based on the company and its commitment to the program and Microsoft. (Want to use Explorer as default web browser? That's more money in a firm's pocket).

How does the program work?

Once a company is on board, Microsoft installs an Internet Explorer "browser helper object", or "BHO", that essentially monitors the number of search queries made on a particular desktop. Microsoft has assured those interested in the program that it will not be regulating WHAT employees are searching for, just the volume.

There are some catches, however. Microsoft is not taking a role in installing the software, but is instead leaving that to a company's IT department. This means the implementation could certainly distract technicians and cost a corporation time and money. (Source:

In the end, however, the use of advanced search technology and Microsoft's incentive should help the otherwise pesky process of upgrading with this kind of software.

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