Jerry Nixon on Windows: Here is how I get free Microsoft stuff. I use Bing!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Here is how I get free Microsoft stuff. I use Bing!

imageIf Google was the only search engine on the internet, their motivation to improve would be weak. It’s sort of like if Windows doesn’t have competition, Microsoft’s motivation to innovate isn’t compelling. For this reason competition is good.

For technical audiences who like to search technical terms and get results from forums and tech documents, Google does a great job. But using Google makes me feel a little “dirty”. Maybe that’s just me. Still, I “Google” everyday.

However, typical consumers (like my family), get more out of Bing than Google. The integration of Facebook is a nuisance to me but they seem to love it. And the results seem tailored to consumers more than a raw dump of data – though I sort of prefer that format myself.

And because Bing is defaulted in Windows Phone and Windows 8, I love the fact that I get “points” for every Bing search I do (as well as other activities). Those rewards can be exchanged for REAL products including Xbox Microsoft Points that can be used to purchase DLC and Xbox movies.

Learn about Bing Rewards here!

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Points can translate into real money if you use them for some of the creative rewards like Phone and Windows Store credits. It’s not a million dollars, but it’s free. Think about that.

Here’s what the Rewards dashboard looks like

It guides you to higher and higher levels. Once you are Gold level, take a look. Sure you get a discount and other stuff, but you also get “bragging rights”. Someone had fun typing that!

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Typically, I earn around 150+ points in a month. That’s mostly from casual searches (and from a guy who tends to use Google).  And, when I am ready to cash in I can pick usually Microsoft points. To me, those have real value for things that I might purchase. Bing also gives you the opportunity to donate your points to the charity of your choice.

Learn about Bing Rewards here!

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Microsoft points are sort of like the currency of Xbox. And now that Zune is rolled under the Xbox brand, Xbox movies and Xbox music are also available with Microsoft points. Let’s say you want to get a movie from Xbox movies and watch it on your TV. After you check out, a redemption code is emailed to you – so check your Junk folder.

Here’s what a movie might cost:

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<http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Movie/The-Amazing-Spider-Man-Xbox-Exclusive-Edition>

Spiderman costs 1,600 Microsoft Points (in HD). 1,600 Microsoft points translates to exactly $19.99. That means (with a little calculation) that one Microsoft point is currently worth 0.01249375 cents. It means the 400 Microsoft Points from Bing is actually worth 4.9975. It means the 475 Bing points it costs for those Microsoft points are individually worth 0.0105210526315789 cents.

All that means is what?

Bing Rewards is free money. Not a retirement account, but free nonetheless. Why not?

Learn about Bing Rewards here!