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Microsoft Deal For Large Customers: Use Live Search, Get Free MSFT Products

By - March 15, 2007

Msft Live Credit 1

A loyal reader sent me this tidbit: 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.”

Msft Live Credit 2The 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.

In short, Microsoft is leveraging its massive installed base – and its cash – to push search. It’s not a bad idea, though there are possible drawbacks. The presentation goes into detail about how a large company might promote this program to its employees, suggesting three levels of communication – “low, moderate, and high.” Moderate and high promotions include “In-house training session on ‘how to get the most from web search’ using Windows Live Search,” “Remove all existing toolbars,” “Set Homepage to Live Search,” and “Email message of encouragement from CEO.” IE 7 is mandatory for the program, as one might expect.

Interesting. This could work, but it could sure backfire. How would you feel if, to save a few bucks, the CIO and CFO dictates that you now have to use IE7 preset to Live Search? I can imagine a backlash where usage of Firefox goes way up in large corporations so as to avoid that “Browser Helper Object” installed in IE 7….


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34 thoughts on “Microsoft Deal For Large Customers: Use Live Search, Get Free MSFT Products

  1. Hiroko says:

    Wow. So Microsoft is paying companies to remove Yahoo & Google toolbars? That will be interesting, after all of the effort Yahoo and Google went to to preserve search choice in IE7’s search box…

  2. Soren G says:

    Having to pay people to use your search engine, though . . . not a good sign. Just be the best and you do not have to pay people.

  3. J says:

    “How would you feel if, to save a few bucks, the CIO and CFO dictates that you now have to use IE7 preset to Live Search”
    – The point is that there is no need to dictate. If all PCs were upgraded to IE7 and the homepage set as Live Search, 80-90% of employees would not even notice the difference. a) that they had a new browser or b) that it wasnt Google anymore.

  4. Alfred says:

    Wow – this is demonstrating real innovation, and we’d certainly considder it!

  5. Not Notice? says:

    User’s notice. Our users all noticed the IE7 upgrade and hated it when it moved everything around. 2nd, everyone uses search and the reason no one uses MS Live is because the results are very good. I don’t know how google and yahoo do it, but they return results you want and can use. Search Live Search and the first 4 or 5 spots will be for microsoft products.

  6. John says:

    I’m a software engineer and I don’t understand the savings. Each of those PCS has to use a copy of MS Windows that runs somewhere between $100 and $300 a piece (I’m still trying to figure out the cost of Vista on MS’s convoluted web site.). A savings of $2 to $10 per desktop PC, since this doesn’t include servers and rack mounts would be trivial (IMHO). Just consider the cost of maintaining the BHO on everyone’s PC and making sure they don’t run off to Google for a little let’s-not-be-evil glance at purity. There’s no benefit here.

  7. yaacov says:

    I guess they forgot about alexa’s failed incentive program of offering discounts on amazon for using their search site.

    I’d need at least $50 a month to search with Microsoft.

  8. JoeDuck says:

    Pay to use may be the shape of things to come as users begin to realize that they, and not the big players, are the key to internet success. Yaacov’s point is key – would he really want $600 annually to use MS search? If so he’s not typical. I bet you could get most people to abandon Google in favor of LIVE (which is close, but not as good as Google), for $50 per year or less.

    Now I’m curious – what is a year of searches (ie searches and subsequent clicks to ads) by me worth to Google? To MSN? Yahoo?

  9. alan herrell - the head lemur says:

    There is a joke about the kid who was so ugly that his parents put a pork chop around his neck so the dog would play with him. Microsoft Live Search is one of these kids Talk about a pay for play twist….

  10. davis freeberg says:

    This is smart by Microsoft. It is really just a trojan horse to help upsell their live office features. Salesforce.com should keep an eye on this, if the program is popular, I bet that Microsoft when end up making even more money out of this.

  11. MarkMTVW says:

    Oh… get over it… if it were Google who came up with this type of plan you would all be saying how brilliant it was. The fact is, both Google and Yahoo already do this type of thing… I work for a software company and we get paid several $ per unit of our software that we ship that offers to install the Google and Yahoo toolbars… so we push it through our software and Google pays us when our customers install it.

  12. DD says:

    How do i sign up for this???!!!!
    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m feeling a little greedy for $25,000 (+ $10/pc = $3500/yr) for us!!!

    Ironically I did a search on MS-Live (for the 1st time), but couldn’t find any info. I’ll try to google it in a minute….

  13. manxs says:

    I am thinking “monopoly/anti-trust”

  14. angrycustomer says:

    First vistola, now searchola, way to go guys!
    Goin’ down down down…

  15. Kamal Jain says:

    John and other commentators here, a product competes by either improving the quality or by decreasing the price for end users. Typically both aspects require innovations. Competing on either aspect is only a good thing for end users and must be welcome by all.

    Innovation in pricing model is also the reason you see sophisticated pricing models in airlines industry, cell-phone industry, or in general retail industry — for an example mail-in-rebates. You do not see many of these innovations in many other countries, e.g., India.

    Search has become too expensive for end-users. It is not that search engines are paid for their services. Search engines are actually paid dearly albeit indirectly by the end users. The marketing budget of any company is added back to its products. The same is true with all the merchants showing ads through search engine marketing.

    Theoretically, one of the sign of monopolistic/ogilopolistic pricing is that the companies resist competing on the pricing aspect, or in other words tries to take back full “surplus” created by its products. This is evident by the fantastic business models the search engine companies have, i.e., pay as much as you can. From the price perspective, they currently have monopoly on their search users!

    In the case of the search engine business, it is not easy to innovate on the pricing aspect of the search engines. Since search engines are paid indirectly, the direct pricing of a search engine is zero. Obviously readers can see themselves that making the direct price of searches to negative will create major fraud issues.

    What’s the way out? Since the search engines are paid indirectly, the pricing of the search engines should be decreased indirectly, either through the same mechanism by which they are paid or through a different indirect mechanism — as this post of your suggests. Getting a Dell computer slightly cheaper than it otherwise would be is an indirect effect of reduced price of search.

    Besides some start-ups, Microsoft is the only company which is trying to innovate in this space. This is actually as important, if not more important, as improving the search quality even further. Needless to say, innovations in all directions are needed.

  16. Overall, program participants can expect a discount equivalent to a fraction of a fraction of a percent of their annual Microsoft software licensing budget. Chump change for enterprises with 10,000+ computer systems.

  17. Overall, program participants can expect a discount equivalent to a fraction of a fraction of a percent of their annual Microsoft software licensing budget. Chump change for enterprises with 10,000+ computer systems.

  18. Dave says:

    At work, search results have a productivity value. The relevant search results from Google are often worth $10 in an hour of typical office work. If any organizations sign up for this program for $10 in MS training credits in a year, I’d have to wonder what they actually do in front of their computers.

  19. Jack says:

    MS Live Search is just painful to use when compared to Google. It’s right for Microsoft to pay users for the pain they are inflicting on them. In the Microsoft world, every single aspect of computing must be branded with the MS logo. There are no sacred cows, and, in time, MS will take over as many markets as what it possibly can. It costs MS big bucks to r&d to compete with highly innovative companies. It’s much better for MS to eliminate any and all competition and thus not have to go through the embarrassment and stress involved with not being number #1 in any single fied.

  20. Tom B says:

    Extremely illegal. Too bad we have essentially no Dept. of Justice under the GOP…..

    Typical MSFT. Far be it from them to simply create products that inherently worth using….

  21. AJR says:

    Grow up folks. Google does this all the time. This is business and big bucks are at stake.

    Do you think Sun includes Google toobar in their Java download for fun? No, they get paid for it. Google pays all kinds of folks to drive hits. They monetize hits to their site so they perfectly willing to pay for them. MSFT is just waking up to the reality that you need to pay for hits to compete.

  22. KYLE HAINES says:

    HEY GUYS HOW CAN I MAKE A DECENT LIVING WORKING FOR YOU MICROSOFT FROM MY HOME? SERIOUSLY, I RESPECT THE FACT YOU ARE THE BEST AND I REALLY WISH TO WORK WITH THE BEST, SO THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING I CAN DO FOR YOU, AS I AM DISABLED AND CAN NOT PROVIDE FOR MY OWN FAMILY OF 5, WIFE JULIE AND 3 SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN. PLEASE MAY I DO SOMETHING FOR YOU FROM MY HOME FOR A WEEKLY PAYCHECK OF ABOUT PIECEWORK SO I CAN MAKE LIKE MINIMUM OF $500.00 PLUS HOW EVER MANY ADS I CAN PRODUCE FOR YOU PER WEEK AS A BONUS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT? PLEASE HELP, AS I AM NOT JUST OUT ASKING FOR FREE CASH I AM WILLING TO WORK FOR IT FROM HOME ONLINE OR WHATEVER, UPGRADING PEOPLE TO VISTA BY OFFERING THEM A TRADE UP GIVE THEM SO MUCH OFF FOR THEIR OWN PAID FOR COPY OF XP, AND THEN I HAVE MORE CUSTOMERS WHO WANT XP UPGRADE FROM 2000 OR 98 SEE WHAT I MEAN, I CAN RUN AN EMAIL CAMPAIGN SELLING YOUR PRODUCTS AND RESELLING THE USED XP O.P.S.S WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS, I REALLY THINK I CAN MAKE YOU SOME MONEY AND ME TOO. WHILE WORKING FROM HOME, OR MAYBE YOU HAVE SOMETHING ALREADY IN PLACE THAT I WILL DO FOR YOU. WILL YOU PLEASE AT LEAST CONSIDER MY PROPOSAL SIR OR MAMM? THANK YOU IN ADVANCE, BEST REGARDS,
    KYLE B HAINES 116 EAST 9TH STREET OTTAWA, KS 66067 USA 785-242-7238

  23. Alan Margison says:

    I had my computer set tto use Google as the default search provider. It is now cahnge without my permission to Live Search. This is Microsoft infringing upon my privacy and other rights. I cannot even now choose to have Google as my search provider. Didn’t this go through the coursts previously? AnYone know HOW TO REMOVE Live Search from my computer? Or at least get Google back as my choice of search provider when searching from the address bar?

  24. PISSED OFF says:

    GET OFF MY COMPUTER AND OUT OF MY LIFE.
    FIREFOX, HERE I COME.

  25. http://www.onlineshopxxl.de says:

    Thanks for very interesting article. btw. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts. It’s interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else’s point of view… makes you think more. So please keep up the great work. Greetings.

  26. Konin says:

    I had too my computer set to use Google as the default search provider.I really enjoyed reading all of your posts.Thanks for very interesting article.

  27. rkaneknight says:

    The ongoing saga of Microsoft messing up the world one computer at a time. If you don’t know it already installing IE7/Live Search will totally mess up anything your doing with Jinitiator. I’m guess there are a few other programs it’s not compatible with as well. Microsoft changes crap, and they expect other companies to make their software work around them. Oracle isn’t the most cost effecient database, but when that’s what your told to use, your kinda stuck with it. I’m living with IE6 for now, and my vista machine can’t run Jinit because I can’t figure out how to remove Live Search from it.
    If you want savings, use “blackle.com” a power saving version of google.

  28. Motoryzacja says:

    Google search is my choose and most computers in my company have google search enginge as default start page.

    btw. Not many people are using live search that is why I do not care about my web position in live (Fotka). We will see..

  29. Motoryzacja says:

    Oh and one more thing. It stupid idea to remove Yahoo & Google toolbars. Microsoft want to delete most usefull soft for webmasters:/

  30. Motoryzacja says:

    Oh and one more thing. It stupid idea to remove Yahoo & Google toolbars. Microsoft want to delete most usefull soft for webmasters:/

  31. Mitesh says:

    google and yahoo are best. MSN comes after these two

    in coming days it might happen Free services are no more free.

    Pay to use is todays demand and thats the point.

    if that happens MSN have a chnce to beat the two big key players of search engine market

    Mitesh Rami
    mitesh.webng.com

  32. cd druck says:

    I cant find some information about percents of using a Live search enginge at web. Taking information from my experience at my web: cd druck stats I can tell that only 2 maybe 4% of visits are from Live. So I will never put a money to Live ADS.

  33. jack says:

    @cd druck: Live ADS is very economic solution. have you tried it before?
    greeting,
    agencja modelek

  34. Live Search!!
    Its terrible. no more live search
    At my siteagroturystyka I have google serach. But i thing google slowely falling down. Yahoo is better. It is my opinion!