MICROSOFT IS so desperate for you to use Edge, the default Windows 10 browser, that it is willing to be your bitch.
Microsoft now lags behind Google Chrome in the browser game, even combining the totals from Edge and its predecessor Internet Explorer, and has announced a revamped Microsoft Rewards programme that will pay, as the name suggests, rewards for using Microsoft.
Microsoft Rewards is a rebrand of Bing Rewards, the firm's desperate attempt to get people using the irritating default search engine, and sure enough the bribes for using Edge apply only if you use Bing too.
That's easy enough for Cortana as Microsoft has already blocked any attempt to get the assistant to use alternative search engines, but it's slightly trickier for browsers and something about which Microsoft has been in trouble before.
The reward scheme is currently US-only, but is likely to roll out worldwide at some point. It actively monitors browser use (oh goodie, privacy issues!) and offers rewards for using Bing in Edge for 30 hours a month.
Your liberty can then be exchanged for credit on Skype, removing the ads from Outlook.com, or shopping at Amazon or Starbucks.
How this is going to go down will be fascinating. Put bluntly, Microsoft, which we already knew was tracking Edge use, has decided to be transparent about it and sugar the pill with a bit of bribery. Beware: Stockholm Syndrome setting in.
Given that Google Chrome has announced plans to withdraw support for apps in Chrome for Windows because hardly anyone uses them, its phenomenal popularity can't be simply down to that.
Remember, Edge is bundled with Windows 10. Chrome is a conscious decision. Admittedly, Edge is not finished, and there are still extensions few enough to count them on fingers and toes, so maybe Microsoft is being a bit previous in trying to convert people in the first place, especially as it blatantly legitimises spying on you. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score