Microsoft Bribing People to Use Its Edge Browser

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Man, you have to feel bad for Microsoft. Its Edge browser was supposed to be Internet Explorer's cool, powerful successor, but it hasn't made much of a splash among Firefox and Chrome users. Microsoft is taking an aggressive, albeit desperate tactic -- bribing potential users with rewards points.

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The company has updated its rewards program, which was previously centered around its search engine, Bing, to include its new browser for up to 150 points per month. But not only do you have to use the browser -- you also have to let Microsoft track usage and diagnostic data.

The opt-in program will count up to 30 hours of "active browsing" per month, which means not only is Edge open, but it is also highlighted in the taskbar, as well as using the browser consistently. You also have to have Bing set as your default search engine, locking you into Microsoft's web ecosystem. Switching to Google means you won't be able to earn points.

Users can go to this website to learn more and sign up.

MORE: Edge Shopping Extension Alerts You to Price Drops

The company says it won't track browsing data, only time spend in Edge. Interested users can go to Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostics and check their "diagnostic and usage data" setting in Windows 10 to make sure they're set up to send this data.

Some might be creeped out by being tracked at all, as the first year of Windows 10 was plagued with privacy concerns. Others may find the rewards enticing and suggest that there's no reason to worry about your privacy in Windows 10.

Are you signing up for the program? Let us know in the comments.

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Author Bio
Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
Andrew E. Freedman, on
Add a comment
  • RicoViking9000 Says:

    Chrome's recent update now looks a bit like Firefox. Edge, meanwhile, at least gets extensions, like adblock. As far as privacy concerns, Windows 10 basically tracks everyone with recommended settings, and they are encrypted, with 10 being their most secure OS yet. Apple isn't exactly being good either.

    And I like the rewards program. I am saving my points for a sweepstakes entry for some Windows 10 device, haven't decided yet. I may do an Xbox One S. Maybe the XPS 13, although outdated. I'll keep up with my creds. I can use Edge with my personal Google account, and Chrome for my school one. Fine with me. Edge even has a PDF reader. Plus it actually scales correctly. And it isn't slow.

  • CNY-MAN Says:

    If they had not removed great features of IE they most likely would not have so many defectors. Favorites and History have been crippled, among other issues.

  • JuanSoto Says:

    I was on Win10 for a little while this past year. Not even through scripting and/or automation software would I bother running Edge.

    These companies are no longer asking what WE want in tech. They keep cramming what serves them best down our throats. There is a middle ground somewhere but the arrogance (which has replaced best business practices) won't allow it.

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