Microsoft's new plan to save Edge: reward points

Will award redeemable points for 'active' hours in Windows 10's default browser

Microsoft today made a play to boost usage of Edge with an awards program that gives users points for browsing with the Windows 10 application.

"Earn points for every hour of active browsing ... up to 30 hours a month," Microsoft announced on a promotional page.

To qualify for points in the new program -- formerly Bing Rewards, rebranded as Microsoft Rewards -- Edge users must have the Bing search engine as the browser's default. Microsoft defined "active browsing" as meeting two conditions: Edge had to be the highlighted icon in the taskbar -- meaning it was the only app in focus on the desktop -- and the user had to be "engaged with the browser" via clicking, mouse movements or watching full-screen video.

Microsoft did not say how many points will be awarded for each hour of Edge usage.

Users must also have Windows 10's diagnostic and telemetry technology enabled to be awarded browsing points. Enterprises and other large organizations may set that technology to its least intrusive level -- dubbed "Security" -- on Windows 10 PCs. Those systems won't be able to track Edge usage: No tracking, no Edge rewards.

By giving points for running Edge, Microsoft signaled that it realizes the browser needs help, and that it hopes gift cards and discounts on company products would be enough to entice users to either stick with Edge or return to it after running a rival.

Edge usage -- the browser only runs in Windows 10 -- has eroded since its mid-2015 debut. According to analytics vendor Net Applications, Edge ran on 24% of all Windows 10 PCs in July, down from 27% in June and 29% in May.

Growing Edge's share is more than a matter of prestige or bragging rights; it puts dollars in Microsoft's pocket. The more users run Edge, the more search with Bing -- set as the default in the browser -- and the more that search Bing, the more Microsoft reaps from sales of search ads. In fact, Microsoft has long banked on Bing serving as a cornerstone of Microsoft's monetization plans for Windows 10.

Microsoft said that the Edge awards -- and the overarching Microsoft Rewards program -- would launch "soon," and be limited to the U.S.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoft Edge

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?