That’s right, you didn’t misread the headline – Microsoft is looking to pay you to use their search engine (again). Not with real money mind you, but points that can be redeemed for prizes (read: Chuck E. Cheese).
The program, called SearchPerks, will give users of Microsoft’s LIVE Search a point each time they search, with the possibility of accumulating 25 per day. However, users will only be able to collect these points once they’ve agreed to download and install a small program that allows Microsoft to track their usage.
In the past, Microsoft hasn’t been successful in getting new users for their search engine, currently only holding 8.3 percent of the search engine market. With the Live Search Club, Microsoft saw an initial boost in their search engine usage of nearly 3 percent, but the results failed to hold. The success of the search engine appears to be directly tied with the incentive programs that Microsoft offers.
If you’re looking to get in on the point-spending goodness, be sure to sign up soon. Microsoft is only allowing people to sign up until the end of the year, or until they get their target of 250,000 participants.
I bet you never thought all those searches for Lindsay Lohan would one day be profitable, did you?
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There's a major disappointment resonating from Redmond, and really, you're the only one that can do anything about it. you see, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doesn't like "not being No. 1," but that's exactly the position his company takes in the search arena. If that's to change - and Ballmer believes Microsoft may be the only company with a fighting chance - he says it will take several more years and lots of cash.
It's going to take us a while," Ballmer said during a speech at the Churchhill Club. "It's a five-year task. We've got a lot to do."
Ballmer went on to say that the Microsoft will have to figure out a way to fundamentally change both the experience and economics of the search industry, claiming his company has "taken some steps in that direction." Of course, we're sure Google would have a different outlook, but ultimately it's you, the web searcher, who decides the outcome. So if you refuse to use Live Search because it sucks compared to Google, at least consider switching so Ballmer can sleep more soundly at night at not having to be not No. 1.
So you’ve got this great idea that will change the world, but you just don’t have the cash to get it off the ground. Well, luckily for you Google has your back! Google recently announced a new venture called Project 10 to the 100, a contest that allows anyone to submit a world-changing idea to Google, and they will potentially commit $10 million to implementing it.
These world-changing ideas will be submitted to Google in one of eight categories; community, opportunity, energy, environment, health, education, shelter and everything else. Once initial bulk of ideas have been sifted through, 100 ideas will be voted on publicly to determine 20 semi-finalists, and from there five ideas will be chosen for the $10 million prizes. But know that that $10 million isn’t going directly to you (should you win)! What you win is “the satisfaction of knowing that your idea might truly help a lot of people.” The deadline for submitting your idea is October 20th, and videos are allowed to supplement your proposal.
Google’s reason for offering the project is pretty noble, and I like it. On the project’s official site they say: “Never in history have so many people had so much information, so many tools at their disposal, so many ways of making good ideas come to life. Yet at the same time, so many people, of all walks of life, could use so much help, in both little ways and big. In the midst of this, new studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness over time is helping other people.”
Leading internet research firm Net Applications has revealed that many early Chrome adopters are now reverting back to Internet Explorer and Firefox. User comfort is finally overcoming the curiosity that the browser initially educed.
For more than a year, Apple’s iPhone has garnered the lion’s share of press and remained a must-have device for gadget junkies. In an industry in which $300 products quickly become free incentives for signing a contract, the iPhone has managed to remain relevant. This is due in part to Apple’s marketing savvy, which made many people—consumers and journalists alike—look past the device’s shortcomings, but also because the iPhone’s innovative interface and full web browser provided consumers with something truly new.
Now, handset-maker HTC, T-Mobile, and Google hope to get some of the attention the iPhone has received by releasing the G1, the first mobile phone to use Google’s mobile OS, Android.
We're still a month away from seeing the first mobile phone running Google's Android mobile platform hit the retail sector, but while ordinary folk have to wait patiently, there exists a handful of Google and maybe T-Mobile employees plugging away on the new phone. And it's from spotting one of these pre-release units in the wild that VentureBeat reports that Amazon will have a mobile store in place by the time Android ships.
Speculation suggests that the Amazon music store on Android will most likely be a mobile version of its existing AmzonMP3 online digital music store. Such a move would certainly heat up the competitive juices between T-Mobile's HTC Android phone and Apple's iPhone, and perhaps help Amazon grab some of the marketshare controlled by iTunes.
Google is home to many of the world’s smartest and most creative engineers and its newest plan once again proves they aren’t afraid to pioneer. To sum up Google’s idea in a few words, they plan to take the collective knowledge of mankind and send it out to sea, literally. The search giant is home to countless computer systems which crunch the millions of search terms thrown at it each minute and finding ways to keep costs down is always a challenge. Google hopes that by housing these computers on massive ships out in the ocean it will allow them to use sea water to both cool and power the electronics. Google’s commitment to the environment is commendable and even though data centers currently only represent a small portion of our total power consumption, the Mckinsey consulting firm predicts that by 2020 the carbon footprint of server farms will overtake the entire airline industry. In addition to energy savings, Google also stands to benefit from the tax exempt status that comes from operating in international waters. The high cost of operating data centers has pushed other companies to look for creative ways to save money as well. In fact, both Microsoft and Sun Microsystems are rumored to be looking at similarly bizarre options, though none have yet been confirmed.
Let me just say this; if Google plans to take the cloud and cast it out to sea, I hope my Google Doc’s can survive a hurricane.
We've all heard that what goes up must certainly come down (that Sir Isaac Newton was a smart cookie), but what happens when something keeps going up? In this case, you name it Google and ride the financial wave hoping the 'Midas touch' never wears off.
To call Google a search giant is no longer accurate, as it neglects to mention everything else the company has going for it. Now Google can add to its resume as owning the 10th highest brand name value, according to a study by BusinessWeek and Interbrand.
The ranking reflects a big jump from 20th place where Google sat last year. But with a value that has increased 43 percent to $25.6 billion, the company moved way up the chart and now trails just four other technology companies (IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, and Intel). Meanwhile, IBM overtook the second spot on the chart, knocking Microsoft down to third.
Coca-Cola remains in the top spot, but could it be long before Google starts nipping at its heels?
And so it has begun, or at least it soon will. We're referring to the inevitable battle between Google's Android platform and the Apple iPhone, the latter of which is arguably the hottest cellular gadget currently available.
Nothing is official yet, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the HTC Dream will be the first Google Android smartphone out of the gates. If the report holds true, you'll be able to own one for $199 with a 2-year service agreement tied to T-Mobile. This would put the smartphone on the same pricing tier as Apple's iPhone, leaving the Android platform little wiggle room to falter.
Based on earlier reports, the HTC Dream will sport a 3-inch screen, integrated Wi-Fi, 3G compatibility, and GPS functionality. But potentially putting the Dream at a disadvantage next to the iPhone are several reported missing features, such as no motion sensor chip that can switch the screen layout between portrait and landscape mode, no multi-touch capability, and lack of Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
Despite what's missing, HTC seems to think it can sell between 600,000 to 700,000 devices by the end of the year, which would give it momentum moving into 2009.
Is HTC overly confident in Google's brand recognition, or is Apple's one-man show in the high end touchscreen cellular market about to become a two-man tango?