Microsoft Rewards isn't going away anytime soon, but loyalty points continue to drop dramatically

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More trouble is seemingly brewing for avid Microsoft Rewards users after halting point earnings in Microsoft Edge. As one of our readers pointed out earlier today, Microsoft has significantly adjusted how it awards points to users enrolled in the program. Huschka told Windows Central that points earned from "other activities" have dropped from 10 to 2, while the weekly puzzle only garners a single point.

Microsoft Rewards isn't going away anytime soon, but loyalty points continue to drop dramatically : Read more
 

Luuthian

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The rewards program continues to sink… in 2018 I was earning enough rewards through an an Edge script and xbox dailies and things to get in the low hundreds of dollars of points or multiple months of Gamepass per year. Then they increased the cost of the items and lowered the points you could get. Then they lowered the points again... and then they changed how you earned them so you needed to sink tons of time in games you might not want to. I had to do every single daily Edge activity and every Xbox activity (playing all kinds of games i didn't want to) in order to get one month of standard Gamepass every three months or so, or $25 in points.

At some point it became a second job to earn points at a rate where you could actually use them for anything of value... Except even a second job at McDonalds would pay more for the effort. It's still something for those folks who have ingrained xbox and Edge in to their life and don't mind going to the xbox app to collect the points but at this rate I don't see the point. Even the casual earners will take months or years now to earn anything useful. At that point just kill the program
 
Mar 22, 2014
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The rewards program continues to sink… in 2018 I was earning enough rewards through an an Edge script and xbox dailies and things to get in the low hundreds of dollars of points or multiple months of Gamepass per year. Then they increased the cost of the items and lowered the points you could get. Then they lowered the points again... and then they changed how you earned them so you needed to sink tons of time in games you might not want to. I had to do every single daily Edge activity and every Xbox activity (playing all kinds of games i didn't want to) in order to get one month of standard Gamepass every three months or so, or $25 in points.

At some point it became a second job to earn points at a rate where you could actually use them for anything of value... Except even a second job at McDonalds would pay more for the effort. It's still something for those folks who have ingrained xbox and Edge in to their life and don't mind going to the xbox app to collect the points but at this rate I don't see the point. Even the casual earners will take months or years now to earn anything useful. At that point just kill the program
The point of the program is to engage with Microsoft products and services, not to get free stuff for doing nothing. You're complaining about how hard-done-by you are when, in actual fact, it's you and your ilk who have ruined it for everybody. If people like you weren't gaming the system, they would have felt the need to force a cooldown period on everyone. Thanks.
 
Mar 22, 2014
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It amazes me how entitled some people feel. Refusing to use Edge to punish Microsoft for giving you a little less free stuff when everyone else gives you none at all is childish in the extreme. The whole point of providing points for searching is for people to use Bing search. If you're just going click, click, click to get your points and then leaving then you're of no benefit to Microsoft so why would they give you free stuff? Three searches every 15 minutes seems a bit extreme but the logic is obviously that if you're making too many searches in too short a time then you're just collecting points and not really searching.
 

naddy69

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"It amazes me how entitled some people feel. Refusing to use Edge to punish Microsoft for giving you a little less free stuff when everyone else gives you none at all is childish in the extreme. "

I was thinking the same thing but did not want to be the first to say it.

Not to mention that people inside MS might just be fairly embarrassed at having to resort to paying people to use MS products? This whole points/rewards thing just reeks of desperation.

I would guess that it is "evolving" into going away.
 

theduckofdeath

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Since last week:

1. Start a search in Edge (e.g., "cast of modern family").
2. Wait 5-6 seconds.
3. Click the next tile.
4. Repeat wait & click approach.

Waiting between clicks works fine. Yes, it is a speed bump. However, every day over the last few years that I've done these phony searches for points, I could feel the lockdown looming. NTM, my G.P.U. account is pretty much infinite due to rewards points.

The more trivial click & forget searches had there point offerings dropped from 5 and 10 points to 1 and 2. You could almost forego them now and get the points elsewhere.

There are still plenty of points to accrue.
 

theduckofdeath

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"It amazes me how entitled some people feel. Refusing to use Edge to punish Microsoft for giving you a little less free stuff when everyone else gives you none at all is childish in the extreme. "

I was thinking the same thing but did not want to be the first to say it.

Not to mention that people inside MS might just be fairly embarrassed at having to resort to paying people to use MS products? This whole points/rewards thing just reeks of desperation.

I would guess that it is "evolving" into going away.
I agree with the first sentiment. The second one, not so much. Plenty of companies have rewards points and incentives for both employees and customers. I worked at a SaaS company whose business was a platform for exactly this. Microsoft wants more people using Edge (and Bing). The rewards incentive worked on me. Edge is Chromium-based now, and I use it far more (personally) than Chrome these days.
 
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naddy69

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The original Edge was junk. No amount of points/rewards would get people to use it.

But the point is, that you have to pay people to use anything is not a great long-term strategy. It can/will help in the short term, but eventually the program will go away when either (1) lots of people are now using (whatever) and paying people is no longer needed (and possibly costing way more than it is worth) OR (2) still few people are using (whatever) but are using it only for the free goodies.

It seems to me like we are approaching scenario 2 here, at least regarding Bing. Which is nothing to brag about/continue supporting.

OTOH, Edge has decent share now and is still growing (scenario 1). MS probably no longer needs to pay people to use it.

The time will come for MS (maybe HAS come) when they realize that paying people to use your product(s) means you need better product(s). Or you are trying to get into markets that already have well-established players.

What's next? Will MS pay people to use a new MS phone? Should Apple get into the enterprise DB server market by paying companies to use Apple server hardware running Linux/Oracle?

Personally, if I have to pay people to use my product, I will take that as meaning I have a crappy to mediocre product and/or the competition is WAY better because everyone uses it without getting paid.
 

Kaymd

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As usual, some people will abuse anything, given the smallest opportunity.

The rewards program as others have pointed out, was supposed to be a small perk, a side bonus for using some MS products for activities you'd normally be doing anyway. Regular web searches, online shopping etc. An added incentive to encourage users to use MS products instead of the competition. Something like credit card rewards for example.

Unfortunately, many turned it into a ridiculous mining operation of sorts. I was amazed to hear people running scripts to 'maximize' the rewards points. Like seriously???

Anyways, this of course is the natural end result. I'm actually surprised it took this long for MS to react. This stuff has been abused by many users for years.
 
Mar 22, 2014
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But the point is, that you have to pay people to use anything is not a great long-term strategy. It can/will help in the short term, but eventually the program will go away when either (1) lots of people are now using (whatever) and paying people is no longer needed (and possibly costing way more than it is worth) OR (2) still few people are using (whatever) but are using it only for the free goodies.
To my mind, it's more a case of if your product is the equal of the incumbent or even just a little better, few people will change because there's no incentive to learn something new for little to no benefit. Microsoft Rewards was that incentive. For most people, Edge is at least the equal of Chrome. I'm a .NET developer and I found that Bing was better than Google for me many years ago, before Microsoft Rewards was even a thing. I've tried Google from time to time, for .NET and other things, and never found that it provided any specific advantage over Bing, so I stuck with Bing. I think that Microsoft Rewards has probably been less successful than they had hoped at incentivising new users from Google, which may be why they are scaling back somewhat, but I think it likely has still been a success to some degree. Whether those users stay remains to be seen. It seems like some people will switch back out of spite. You can't really reason with such petty people.
 

naddy69

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"To my mind, it's more a case of if your product is the equal of the incumbent or even just a little better, few people will change because there's no incentive to learn something new for little to no benefit. "

Exactly. Your product needs to be WAY better than the competition. Paying people to use your product that "is the equal of the incumbent or even just a little better" is not a viable strategy.

Again. If you have to pay people to use your product, your product is NOT better than the competition.

Apple is not paying people to use any of their products. Neither is Google or Samsung. Only Microsoft.

If Microsoft stops paying people to use Bing and Edge - and the usage stats of Bing and Edge drop 50% - that tells you all you need to know. It's time to either improve or dump Bing and Edge.

OTOH, if the usage stats DON'T drop, then great. No problems. You have good products that can stand on their own.

Either way, stopping the payments and facing reality (whichever way it goes) is the right thing to do.
 
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Arun Topez

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Not to mention that people inside MS might just be fairly embarrassed at having to resort to paying people to use MS products? This whole points/rewards thing just reeks of desperation.
They're not 'paying people to use' Edge. It's a loyalty rewards system. Just like popular coffee shops and restaurants and gaming systems have to reward loyal customers...
 

Arun Topez

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That's a pathetic and cheapening move on MS's part. They might as well just cancel that program or reduce the number of points per search instead of complicating like that. That's one thing MS sucks at is keeping things simple for the general public, and why Apple tends to better in the marketing space.
 

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