The New York Times writes about one of Microsoft’s plans in the search space:
Adam Sohn, director of global sales and marketing for Windows Live, confirmed that Microsoft would pay large companies $2 to $10 a user annually the more searches, the larger the bounty earned in credits that can be used for Microsoft products and training services.
IF Microsoft has determined that it is futile to compete with Google head-to-head, and if, as seems to be the case, it is willing to cast dignity aside and adopt marketing gimmicks in an attempt to gain market share, why stop at half measures? Why not go all the way, as iWon.com has done ever since its founding in 1999? That portal, which includes a search service powered by its sister company, Ask.com, runs sweepstakes. Performing searches, up to a certain number each day, is the easiest way to increase ones odds of winning a $10,000 prize awarded daily. On Tax Day, however, a special prize will be bestowed: $1 million.